14th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-14)

San Francisco, CA, USA
August 1-7, 1999

The Phonetics of Chuvash Stress: Implications for Phonology

Michael Dobrovolsky

University of Calgary, Canada

Chuvash is alleged to be a "default-stress" language of the type in which the last marked vowel or syllable is singled out for stress at one edge of a phonological word, while, in the event the word does not contain one of the marked vowels or syllables, stress defaults to the first vowel or syllable at the opposite of the phonological word. This paper provides phonetic evidence and statistical analysis of Chuvash disyllabic words that suggest that there is no default stress in Chuvash. Rather, the alleged default stress is the intonation downturn that in Chuvash typically occurs on the first vowel or sonorant consonant following the first vowel of the examined forms. In phonological terms, there is only last-full-vowel stress assignment in the stress component of the grammar, and a falling intonation that is assigned in the intonational component of the grammar.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Dobrovolsky, Michael (1999): "The phonetics of Chuvash stress: implications for phonology", In ICPhS-14, 539-542.