Natural Language & Linguistic Theory

, Volume 37, Issue 1, pp 315–356 | Cite as

Prosodic end-weight reflects phrasal stress

  • Kevin M. RyanEmail author


Prosodic end-weight refers to the well-documented tendency of prosodically heavier constituents to be preferred at the ends of domains when other factors (e.g. semantics, accessibility, and syntactic complexity) are controlled. Various explanations for prosodic end-weight have been put forth, including complexity deferral, final lengthening, rhythm, phonotactics, and nuclear stress. This article adduces several new arguments for phrasal stress as a unified explanation for prosodic end-weight and proposes a constraint-based theory of the stress-weight interface in sentential prosody.


Weight Stress Prosody Complexity End-weight Word order 



I gratefully acknowledge the input of three anonymous referees, Lev Blumenfeld, Matthew Gordon, Andrew Nevins, Stephanie Shih, and Rachel Walker, as well as audience members at AMP 1 at UMass-Amherst, the CUNY Conference on Weight, and colloquia at Brown, Harvard, and MIT.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of LinguisticsHarvard UniversityCambridgeUSA

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