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Weight gradience and stress in Portuguese*

  • Guilherme D. Garcia (a1)

This paper examines the role of weight in stress assignment in the Portuguese lexicon, and proposes a probabilistic approach to stress. I show that weight effects are gradient, and weaken monotonically as we move away from the right edge of the word. Such effects depend on the position of a syllable in the word, as well as on the number of segments the syllable contains. The probabilistic model proposed in this paper is based on a single predictor, namely weight, and yields more accurate results than a categorical analysis, where weight is treated as binary. Finally, I discuss implications for the grammar of Portuguese.

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Thanks to Heather Goad, Morgan Sonderegger, Kie Zuraw, Natália Brambatti Guzzo, Michael Wagner and the anonymous Phonology reviewers for valuable suggestions. Thanks also to the audiences at the 33rd West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics, and the 2nd Workshop on Stress and Accent (University of Leiden).

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