Juliet Stanton

Talk Title: 
Gradient lapse in American English –ative
Event Type: 
Fall 2017
Friday, November 10, 2017, 3:30 pm
SBS S218
In words ending in –ative, whether or not –at- bears stress in American English can be predicted by the identity of the segment(s) preceding it (Nanni 1977): –at- is more likely to be stressed when preceded by an obstruent or a cluster (e.g. investigative, legislative) than it is when preceded by a vowel or a sonorant (e.g. palliative, iterative).  In this talk I argue that Nanni's generalization should be understood as an effect of gradiently evaluated *Lapse: phonetically shorter lapses (e.g. àbracadábra) are penalized less heavily than longer lapses (e.g. àbranskradábra).  I argue that alternative accounts of the –ative pattern (e.g. onset-sensitivity, Davis 1988) do not account as well for the existing data, and show that the proposed analysis has the potential to help us understand other apparently segmental effects on stress assignment.