Prosodic Alignment at the Word Level



Date: 20 - 21 November 2008
Venue: Lecture hall, IDS

Organizers: Caren Brinckmann, Markus Hiller & Renate Raffelsiefen


Description: This workshop is concerned with phonological and phonetic boundary effects reflecting alignment of the phonological word or of a smaller prosodic constituent to the morphological word. (→more detail)

Information for participants


Thursday, 20.11.2008

9.15 h PD Dr. Renate Raffelsiefen (IDS)
9.30 h Renate Raffelsiefen / Caren Brinckmann (IDS)
Word-internal alignment effects in German (Slide)
10.20 h Coffee break
10.45 h Iwona Kraska-Szlenk (Warsaw U.)
The interaction between morphological and phonological domains in Polish (Abstract / Handout)
11.40 h Marzena Żygis (ZAS Berlin) /
Iwona Kraska-Szlenk (Warsaw U.)

Do lexical frequency and speech tempo influence phonetic realization of boundaries? The case of prefix-stem juncture in Polish complex words (Abstract)
12.30 h Lunch break
14.00 h George Smith (HU Berlin)
Word-level prosodic structure in French
14.55 h Pauline Welby (U. de Provence)
Intonational cues to boundaries in French
15.45 h Coffee break
16.00 h Stig Eliasson (Mainz U.)
Prosodic clues to word-internal grammatical boundaries in Swedish
16.55 h Angela Grimm (Frankfurt U.)
The alignment of lexical and prosodic words in child German:
The case of compounds

Friday, 21.11.2008

8.30 h E-Ching Ng (Yale U.)
Affixation, compounding and Singaporean English word-level tone (Abstract / Slide)
9.25 h Markus Hiller (IDS)
Affix types in Hungarian (Abstract / Slide)
10.15 h Coffee break
10.45 h Jochen Trommer (Leipzig U.)
Bisyllabicity, boundaries and prosodic domains in Hungarian vowel harmony (Slide)
11.40 h László Hunyadi (Debrecen U.)
Experimental evidence for stress and accent assignment
at morphological constituent boundaries in Hungarian
12.30 h Lunch break
14.00 h Patrik Bye (Tromsø U.)
Morphologically conditioned footing in Inari Saami (Absract / Handout)
14.55 h Marc van Oostendorp (Meertens Inst. / Leiden U.)
The boundaries of alignment.Pronoun-verb merger in varieties of Dutch (Abstract / Slide)
16.00 h End

Description (in detail)

Organization of segments into prosodic constituents is well known to be sensitive to morphological boundaries. Thus, the difference between the cluster tr being syllabified as a complex onset in the English word nitrate but being coda t plus onset r instead in night rate evidently is a result of their difference in morphological structure.

Currently, a widely accepted approach to this kind of phenomenon involves the notion of 'alignment'. According to that, prosodic domains are in place to satisfy constraints that demand that all morphological constituent boundaries of a particular kind (e.g. word, stem, affix) coincide with a prosodic constituent boundary of a particular kind (e.g. phonological word, foot, syllable).

This specialized workshop is on alignment, with focus on word-internal morphological and prosodic constituents. The workshop is to be centered on empirical generalizations rather than being committed to any particular theoretical framework.

We particularly welcome contributions regarding:

  1. Effects of morphosyntactic structure mediated by prosodic constituency, including both effects at the phonemic level and effects at the phonetic level -- in particular among the latter, phonetical or laboratory phonological studies on subliminal boundary effects.
  2. From a crosslinguistic perspective: what sorts of morphological distinctions (e.g. affixes vs. affixoids) are reflected prosodically?
  3. Similarly, what sorts of prosodic constituents are involved? Are there alignment effects that relevantly do not refer to the phonological word but rather the foot or the syllable?

For practical reasons, our principal interest is in the following languages (in alphabetical order): English, French, German, Hungarian, and Polish, but also extends to other languages (esp. of Europe) including nonstandard varieties of the languages already mentioned.

Presentations will be 35 minutes, followed by 15 minutes of discussion.

Working language at the workshop will be English.

Information for participants

All speakers at the conference, whether by invitation or by competitve selection, have been booked rooms at the Balladins Hotel at C 7, 9--11, in Mannheim ("C 7, no. 9--11" is the street address, see below), for the nights of 19/20 plus 20/21 Nov, which is paid for (including breakfast) by the IDS. (Some participants have requested modifications -- those arrangements will, of course, be honored as agreed on!)

Travel directions to the venue


For most purposes, the closest relevant airport is that of Frankfurt am Main. There are express train ("ICE") connections that run nonstop from Frankfurt am Main airport to Mannheim Central Stn once every hour (EUR 43 R/T, = EUR 21.50 one way). (While nominally, Mannheim does have an airport, that one is served infrequently and steeply priced.)


To Mannheim Central Stn.


(Please inquire with us individually.)

From station to IDS

  • Light rail lines 3 ("Sandhofen") or 7 ("Vogelstang") as far as Strohmarkt (3rd stop; EUR 1 one way = "Quadrateticket"), then walk 4 blocks N.
  • or alternatively, light rail lines 1 ("Schönau") or 5 ("MA-Seckenheim") as far as Marktplatz (4th stop; EUR 1 = "Quadrateticket"), then walk 5 blocks E.
  • or alternatively, walk all the way (c.20 min): c.7 blocks N, c.4 blocks W (i.e. from just off "L15" to "R5"), see below.
  • or alternatively, there's a taxi stand in front of the railway station.

From station to hotel

  • Light rail lines 1 ("Schönau"), 3 ("Sandhofen"), 5 ("MA-Seckenheim") or 7 ("Vogelstang") as far as Paradeplatz (3rd stop on 1, 5; 4th on 3, 7), change to 2 ("Neckarstadt"), 6 or 6a ("LU-Rheingönnheim") as far as Rheinstr. (2nd stop; EUR 1 = "Quadrateticket"), then walk 1 block S.
  • or alternatively, there's a taxi stand in front of the railway station.

From hotel to IDS

  • From light rail stop Rheinstr. take lines 2 ("Feudenheim"), 6 ("Neuostheim") or 6a ("Neuhermsheim") as far as Strohmarkt (3rd stop; EUR 1 one way = "Quadrateticket"), then walk 4 blocks N.

Orientation in Mannheim

The city center of Mannheim doesn't have street names (apart from a few nicknames), but rather, the blocks between them do: They are, in fact, numbered in a grid of letters and digits -- more precisely, two half grids one being A1 through K8 (left half) and the other, L1 through U8 (right half), each one starting from the palace (this system is >200 years old).

"A" and "L" are nearest the palace on their respective sides, and "1" is nearest "Kurpfalzstraße", where the two halves meet. (When coming from the train station, note that the "L" numbers have been messed up by prepending another row.) Houses are numbered clockwise or counterclockwise around each block.

The entire gridded area is less than 1.5km wide and long altogether (i.e. everything within is conceivable walking distance), but note that blocks are somewhat unevenly spaced.