15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-15)

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003

The Change from Left Word-Edge Stress to Right Word-Edge Stress

Haike Jacobs

University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands

This paper presents and discusses a prosodic development shared by an impressively large number of languages in their historical evolution: a shift from main stress from the left word-edge to the right word-edge. One particular example is discussed in more detail: the evolution from Pre-classical to Classical Latin. The analysis of intermediate Early Classical Latin is contrasted in two descriptive models, putting the balance in favor of one of them. The causal factors for the change are claimed to be the indeterminacy in the data, reinforced by emerging quantity-sensitivity and pre-stressing suffixes.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Jacobs, Haike (2003): "The change from left word-edge stress to right word-edge stress", In ICPhS-15, 71-74.