When Prosody Follows Syntax : Verbal Stems in Czech


ZIKOVÁ Markéta

Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Linguistica Brunensia
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Web Digitální knihovna FF
Field Linguistics
Keywords Syntax-Phonology Interface; Verbal Stem; Prosodic Template; Vowel Length Alternations; Vowel- Zero Alternations; Czech
Description This paper examines syntactic and prosodic constituency within a verbal stem in Czech. Working in the frameworks of Nanosyntax and Strict CV, I argue that syntax-to-prosody mapping is direct to the extent that prosodic domains correspond to particular syntactic constituents. On the basis of two vocalic alternations, namely vowel-zero alternations in verbal prefixes and roots and alternations in vowel length in roots and theme suffixes, I show that the perfective verbal stem represented by a linear string prefix-root-theme is parsed into three prosodic constituents, [prefixroot], [root-theme] and [prefix-root-theme]. These prosodic domains correspond to three syntactic constituents: VP and a lower and higher projection of the theme suffix respectively. The crucial point of the syntactic analysis is that the prefix undergoes phrasal movement: it is generated next to the root in VP and when the theme is added, it moves to its specifier. In the [prefix-root] constituent, the vocalization pattern of the prefix is established. The constituents comprising theme suffixes are prosodic domains in which a general rule (called the infinitival template) operates; this rule in effect lengthens underlying long vowels in monosyllabic infinitives.
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