Prosodic stems in Zezuru Shona

DOI: 10.2989/16073614.2015.1108766
Author(s): Laura J DowningDepartment of Languages and Literatures, Sweden, Maxwell KadengeDepartment of Linguistics, South Africa


In the traditional Prosodic Hierarchy, the Prosodic Word is the lowest level of the hierarchy defined in terms of the interface between morphosyntactic and prosodic constituents. Recent work by Itô and Mester reaffirms this, defining Prosodic Word as matching the syntactic category X (N, V, and offering no sub-lexical constituents. In this article, we present empirical arguments in favour of the Prosodic Stem as a level of the Prosodic Hierarchy, immediately dominated by Prosodic Word. Minimality effects, tone and vowel hiatus resolution processes in Zezuru demonstrate that Prosodic Stem and Prosodic Word levels play distinct roles; they are domains for different phonological processes. Thus, we argue that more constituents of the Prosodic Hierarchy are needed, where the Prosodic Stem domain is distinct from the Prosodic Word.

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