Serialism and locality in constraint-based metrical parsing

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30 Scopus citations


This paper proposes a model of stress assignment in which metrical structure is built serially, one foot at a time, in a series of Optimality Theory (OT)-style evaluations. Iterative foot optimisation is made possible in the framework of Harmonic Serialism, which defines the path from an input to an output with a series of gradual changes in which each form improves harmony relative to a constraint ranking. Iterative foot optimisation makes the strong prediction that decisions about metrical structure are made locally, matching attested typology, while the standard theory of stress in parallel OT predicts in addition to local systems unattested stress systems with non-local interactions. The predictions of iterative foot optimisation and parallel OT are compared, focusing on the interactions of metrical parsing with syllable weight, vowel shortening and constraints on the edges of prosodic domains.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)481-526
Number of pages46
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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