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Bookmark and Share Paper 1685

Explaining Nonfinality: Evidence from Finnish
Daniel Karvonen
306-314 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


Using evidence from Finnish, this paper provides a rhythm-based motivation for, and explanation of, the Optimality-Theoretic constraint NonFinality, while at the same time showing how secondary stress serves a demarcative function in the language. The paper provides evidence that the general prohibition against final stress in Finnish is due to an avoidance of stress clash at the phrasal level, similar to the avoidance of clash at the word level, thus rendering the constraint NonFinality unnecessary. Primary stress in Finnish is invariably initial and thus serves a clear demarcative function by signaling to the listener the beginning of a new word. While the purely rhythmic stress pattern of Finnish includes secondary stresses on alternate non-final syllables, it is demonstrated that long odd-parity words have a secondary stress peak on the penult instead of the antepenult, contra previous accounts of Finnish stress. It is argued that this rightmost-but-not-final pattern of secondary stress serves a demarcative function similar to the demarcative function of primary stress, by signaling the right edge of the prosodic word.

Published in

Proceedings of the 26th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics
edited by Charles B. Chang and Hannah J. Haynie
Table of contents
Printed edition: $375.00