This paper addresses the proper treatment of bidirectional stress systems. Bidirectional systems are binary systems that appear to anchor a single foot at one edge of the prosodic word and to align all remaining feet towards the opposite edge, resulting in an internal lapse next to the stress of the isolated foot in odd-parity forms. Though typological claims about bidirectional systems have been controversial, the evidence favors a characterization in terms of an iambic-trochaic asymmetry: bidirectional systems are always trochaic. This situation is best accounted for when Initial Gridmark (Prince 1983), a constraint that requires initial stress, and Nonfinality (Prince and Smolensky 1993), a constraint that requires final stresslessness, are the only constraints that can introduce lapse in binary systems. Since the demands of Initial Gridmark and Nonfinality are incompatible with iambic footing in general, iambic bidirectional systems are harmonically bounded and absent from the predicted typology. The result is a significant improvement over the recent accounts of Kager (2001) and Alber (2005), which both undergenerate trochaic bidirectional patterns and overgenerate iambic bidirectional patterns.
Proceedings of the 26th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics
edited by Charles B. Chang and Hannah J. Haynie
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