The Interaction of Constraints on Prosodic Phrasing

  • Elisabeth Selkirk
Part of the Text, Speech and Language Technology book series (TLTB, volume 14)


The notion that the prosodic phrasing structure of a sentence plays a crucial role in organizing the segmental, tonal and prominence structures of a sentence’s phonological representation and its phonetic implementation as well is quite widely assumed in work in both phonology and phonetics. It is also quite widely assumed that this prosodic phrasing structure is independent of, but related to, the syntactic and/or information structure of a sentence. Yet no consensus has emerged within the various traditions of research on prosodic phrasing concerning the nature of the relation between prosodic phrasing and these other distinct types of grammatical representation. Certain approaches foreground the role for syntactic constraints on prosodic phrasing1, others the role for constraints appealing to aspects of information structure2. There are, moreover, properly phonological constraints on prosodic phrasing which ignore these interface representations3. An adequate theory has to recognize the full diversity of constraints on prosodic phrasing, and in addition, make explicit the manner in which these constraints interact4.


Pitch Accent Vowel Length Prosodic Structure Faithfulness Constraint Prosodic Phrasing 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elisabeth Selkirk
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of LinguisticsUniversity of Massachusetts at AmherstAmherstUSA

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