stress or juncture?

RonButters at AOL.COM RonButters at AOL.COM
Sun Jan 30 18:40:50 UTC 2000

Don Lance argues (where "+" indicates "juncture") that the suprasegmentals
for "bad-hair day" are

( 3    1  +  3);

whereas the suprasegmentals for "bad hair-day" are

(  2  +  1    3  ).

Unfortunately, unless the speaker perceives a potential ambiguity (not very
likely in this case), the speaker inevitably will say simply "bad HAIR day."
(I think that Dennis Preston is right that the difference between "2" and "3"
is not functional at this level). In other words, what Don has described is
just a matter of extraordinary pronunciation under unsual circumstances.

Moreover, upon refelction, it seems a little weird to posit the chief
differential here as "juncture" that "comes" BETWEEN syllables yet is
manifested ONLY by increasing the prominence (by means of hyperlengthening)
of the PRECEDING syullable. Why not just call the increasing of prominence as
stress? (After all,as Don's "2" versus "3" indicates, lengthening brings some
increase in loudness as well.) Wouldn't it make sense to reserve the term
"juncture" for phenomena that actually take place between the words, e.g.,
unusually lengthy pause and/or modification of the actual junctural phones?

bout  stress versus 2-1-2 for monosyllabic words; the former does indeed

As I said before, In think Preston is right that 1-2-1 unambiguously
indicates((Adj+Noun) Noun)), and that 1-2-1 is contrastive, selected only as
a way of disambiguating a potentially ambiguous string. Normally, speakers
select the
default pattern 2-1-2, which is also the pattern for the unmarked parsing
((Adj) Noun + Noun). This is why one gets, e.g., "dead END kids" meaning
"dead-end kids": nobody thinks that "dead+end+kids" is ambiguous because
everybody knows that "dead-end" is a compound (and "end kids" seems like an
unlikely combination, though I guess it would be possible to think of the
'dead kids on the end'). Similarly, people who, like Dennis, don't think of
"big-hair" as a sort of compound (and who would puzzle over what a "hair day"
might be) would use the default stress pattern. People like me (who didn't
think of "big+hair" as a compound) would assume that, since the contrastive
stress pattern was not being used, the parsing must be the unmarked "big
hair-day" (on the common pattern of "birthday," "Sunday," "holiday,"
"Groundhog Day," etc.)

In a message dated 1/29/2000 4:39:56 PM, LanceDM at MISSOURI.EDU writes:

<< I was gonna stay out of this phonological quagmire of suprasegmentals,
Language was invented to allow people to say what they want to -- logically
or logic

 bad  hair  day
   1      1      1
(  2      1)     1        (adj + n stress: hair that is bad)
( 3   -   1  +  3)      (primary-tertiary compound noun stress:
                               day characterized by bad hair,
                               like bird characterized by blackness:
                               blackbird 1 - 3)
The + is "plus juncture," which is realized with lengthening
of the preceding syllable.
I have put - between 3 and 1 in the third cycle to
indicate "loss of juncture" as 'bad' and 'hair' slosh together.

 bad  hair  day
   1      1     1
   1  (   1    3  )     (compound noun: day characterized by hair)
(  2  +  1    4  )    (adj + noun)
(  2  +  1    3  )    (ad hoc rule invented to fix unrealistic stress)
Here, 'bad' rather than 'hair' gets the lengthening, whether ambiguously
slight or
exaggerated as indicated below by Ron Butters.

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