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Bookmark and Share Paper 3477

Stress in –ative and the Role of Pre-at- Segments: Evidence from Dictionary Studies
Juliet Stanton
326-332 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


Nanni (1977) claims that, in American English –ative forms, whether or not –at- bears a secondary stress depends on several factors. One is rhythmic: –at- is not stressed if the syllable before it is stressed (affírmatíve, *affírmàtive). Another is segmental: in contexts where –at- can bear stress, it does so when preceded by an obstruent or cluster (invéstigàtive, législàtive) but not a vowel or sonorant (pálliative, spéculative). This short paper provides dictionary data in support of the claim that segmental factors impact –at- stress and shows that the effect cannot be reduced to other considerations, like the frequency of the –ative derivative or a related form. A secondary result is that not all dictionaries are equally reflective of native speaker intuitions.

Published in

Proceedings of the 36th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics
edited by Richard Stockwell, Maura O'Leary, Zhongshi Xu, and Z.L. Zhou
Table of contents
Printed edition: $395.00