Finite-State Methods and Natural Language Processing

Volume 4002 of the series Lecture Notes in Computer Science pp 9-10

Finnish Optimality-Theoretic Prosody

  • Lauri KarttunenAffiliated withPalo Alto Research Center, Stanford University

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A well-known phenomenon in Finnish prosody is the alternation of binary and ternary feet. In native Finnish words, the primary stress falls on the first syllable. Secondary stress generally falls on every second syllable: (vói.mis).(tè.li).(jòi.ta) ’gymnasts’ creating a sequence of trochaic binary feet. However, secondary stress skips a light syllable that is followed by a heavy syllable. In (vói.mis.te).(lè ’we are doing gymnastics’, the first foot is ternary, a dactyl.