Research Project

Compound stress in English:

Modelling the prosody of NN and NNN constructions

Principal investigators:

Sabine Arndt-Lappe & Ingo Plag

Funding:

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (Grants PL151/5-1, and PL 151/5-3)

Funding periods:

July 2005 – December 2007; May 2008 – May 2011

Table of contents

Aims of the project

People

Publications, manuscripts, and theses

Conference presentations and invited talks

 

Aims of the project

It is generally assumed that compounds in English are stressed on the left-hand member (e.g. bláckboard, wátchmaker). However, there is a considerable amount of variation in stress assignment (e.g. apricot crúmble, Penny Láne, Tory léader) that is unaccounted for in the literature.

In the first phase of the project we tested three existing hypotheses against large amounts of different kinds of data (from speech corpora, dictionaries and experiments). The hypotheses tested make reference to argument structure, semantics and analogy as predictors of compound stress. It turned out that, although making correct predictions for parts of the data, none of the structural and semantic mechanisms proposed in the literature works in a categorical fashion, and that probabilistic and analogical models are more successful in their predictions than traditional rule-based ones. These results were robust, no matter which kinds of data we used for testing.

In the second phase of the project we will investigate in more detail some underexplored sources of stress variability of compounds, and we will implement new exemplar-based computational models, testing novel hypotheses about compound stress assignment that we developed on the basis of our previous results. Furthermore, we extend our research to compounds with three constituents (e.g. seat belt law ), for which hardly any systematic empirical studies are available.

Dealing with the interface of phonology, morphology, semantics and syntax, the project will also shed new light on the question of how linguistic knowledge is to be represented in a descriptively and explanatorily adequate model of grammar and lexicon.

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People

Sabine Arndt-Lappe

(principal investigator, arndt-lappe at anglistik.uni-siegen.de)

Ingo Plag

(principal investigator, plag at anglistik.uni-siegen.de)

 

Maria Braun

(researcher, braun at anglistik.uni-siegen.de)

Kristina Kösling

(research assistant, koesling at anglistik.uni-siegen.de)

Gero Kunter

(Post-doctoral researcher, kunter at anglistik.uni-siegen.de)

Mareile Schramm

(research assistant, schramm at anglistik.uni-siegen.de)

 

Student assistants

Andreas Ganacki
Julia Homann

Lena Hüsch
Jenny Schluer
Josephine Thomschke

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Publications, manuscripts and theses

Arndt-Lappe, Sabine (2010) Towards an Exemplar-Based Model of English Compound Stress, Journal of Linguistics. DOI: 10.1017/S0022226711000028.

Bell, Melanie, and Ingo Plag (2010) Informativeness is a determinant of compound stress in English. Revision invited by Journal of Linguistics.

Böer, Katja (2010) Der Einfluss semantischer Transparenz auf die Kompositabetonung im Englischen: Eine korpus-basierte Studie auf der Basis von Latent Semantic Analysis. Magisterarbeit, Universität Siegen.

Ermert, Adina (2007) Semantische Transparenz und Kompositabetonung im Englischen: eine experimentelle Studie. Magisterarbeit, Universität Siegen.

Kösling, Kristina (2006) Zur Betonung dreigliedriger Komposita im Englischen: Einige empirische Befunde. Magisterarbeit, Universität Siegen.

Kösling, Kristina, and Ingo Plag (2009) Does branching direction determine prominence assignment? An empirical investigation of triconstituent compounds in English. Corpus Linguistics and Linguistic Theory 5.2, 205-243.

Kunter, Gero (2011) Compound stress in English. The phonetics and phonology of prosodic prominence. Berlin: de Gruyter.

Kunter, Gero (2010) Perception of prominence patterns in English nominal compounds. Speech Prosody 2010, 102007:1-4.

Kunter, Gero (2009) Compound stress in English. The phonetics and phonology of prosodic prominence. PhD dissertation, University of Siegen.

Kunter, Gero, & Ingo Plag (2007) What is compound stress? In Proceedings of the 17th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, University of Saarbrücken, 6–10 August 2007, Saarbrücken: Universität Saarbrücken.

Lappe, Sabine, & Ingo Plag (2007) The variability of compound stress in English: Towards an exemplar-based alternative of the compound stress rule. In Proceedings of the ESSLLI workshop on exemplar-based models of language acquisition and use, 13–17 August 2007, Dublin, Ireland.

Plag, Ingo (2010) Compound stress assignment by analogy: The constituent family bias. Zeitschrift für Sprachwissenschaft 29.2

Plag, Ingo (2006) The variability of compound stress in English: structural, semantic and analogical factors. English Language and Linguistics 10.1, 143–172.

Plag, Ingo & Gero Kunter (2010) Constituent family size and compound stress assignment in English. Linguistische Berichte, Sonderheft 17, 349-382.

Plag, Ingo, Gero Kunter & Sabine Lappe (2007) Testing hypotheses about compound stress assignment in English: a corpus-based investigation, Corpus Linguistics and Linguistic Theory 3.2, 199–233.

Plag, Ingo, Gero Kunter, Sabine Lappe, & Maria Braun (2008) The role of semantics, argument structure, and lexicalization in compound stress assignment in English. Language 84.4, 760-794

Plag, Ingo, Gero Kunter, and Mareile Schramm (2011) Acoustic correlates of primary and secondary stress in North American English. Journal of Phonetics 39, 362-374.

 

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Conference presentations and invited talks

(presenters are in bold, co-authors are listed)

Arndt-Lappe, Sabine (2009) Semantics, Frames, and Variation in English compound stress: a corpus study. Kolloquium der Forschergruppe Funktionalbegriffe und Frames, Heinrich-Heine Universität Düsseldorf, 16.12.2009

Arndt-Lappe, Sabine, Katja Böer & Ingo Plag, (2010) Semantic distance and semantic transparency as determinants of compound stress assignment in English, paper presented at the 14th International Morphology Meeting, Budapest, May 13-16, 2010

Bell, Melanie J. & Ingo Plag (2011) Informativeness is a determinant of compound stress in English.4th International Conference on the Linguistics of Contemporary English (ICLCE-4), Osnabrück.

Kristina Kösling (2009) Variable compound stress and the effect of branching direction in NNN compounds. The Third International Conference on the Linguistics of Contemporary English, London, July 14-17, 2009.

Kösling, Kristina (2008) Does branching direction determine stress assignment? Empirical investigations of the prominence patterns of triconstituent compounds. 1rst Conference of the International Society for the Linguistics of English (ISLE 1), Freiburg, October 2008.

Kunter, Gero (2010) Perception of prominence patterns in English nominal compounds, Speech Prosody 2010, Satellite Workshop on Prosodic Prominence: Perceptual and Automatic Identification, Chicago, May 10, 2010.

Kunter, Gero (2007) Within-speaker and between-speaker variation in compound stress assignment, Second International Conference on the Linguistics of Contemporary English, Université de Toulouse II, 2–4 July 2007.

Kunter, Gero & Ingo Plag (2007) What is compound stress?, 17th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, University of Saarbrücken, Saarbrücken: Universität Saarbrücken, 6–10 August 2007.

Kunter, Gero & Ingo Plag (2006a) What is compound stress?, University of Edinburgh, 23 May 2006.

Kunter, Gero & Ingo Plag (2006b) Links oder rechts — oder doch gleich? Akustische Analyse der Kompositumsbetonung im Englischen, Interdisziplinäres Sprachwissenschaftliches Kolloquium, Philipps-Universität Marburg, 19. Mai 2006.

Lappe, Sabine & Ingo Plag (2008) The variability of compound stress in English: rules or exemplars?, 13th International Morphology Meeting, University of Vienna, 3–6 February 2008.

Lappe, Sabine & Ingo Plag (2008) An exemplar-based approach to compound stress assignment.1rst Conference of the International Society for the Linguistics of English (ISLE 1), Freiburg, October 2008.

Lappe, Sabine & Ingo Plag (2007) The variability of compound stress in English: towards an exemplar-based alternative to the compound stress rule, 19th European Summer School in Logic, Language and Information, Trinity College, Dublin, 13–17 August 2007.

Plag, Ingo (2011) Compound stress assignment emerges from the lexicon, Quantitative Investigations in Theoretical Linguistics 4 (QITL 4), Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.

Plag, Ingo (2010) Compound stress assignment and the structure of the lexicon, Copenhagen Symposium on Approaches to the Lexicon, December 8-10, 2010.

Plag, Ingo (2010) Why morning páper, but júry selection? The variability of compound stress in English, University of Cambridge. May 6, 2010.

Plag, Ingo (2009) Why home phóne, but cáse manager? Methodological and theoretical issues in variable compound stress assignment in English. Katholische Universität Eichstätt, 1. Dezember 2009.

Plag, Ingo (2009) Constituent family and compound stress assignment, Aarhus Universitet (Dänemark), March 2009.

Plag, Ingo (2009) Constituent family and compound stress assignment, University of Edinburgh, February 2009.

Plag, Ingo (2009) Why morning páper, but júry selection? The variability of compound stress in English, Universität Bonn, January 2009.

Plag, Ingo (2009) The variability of compound stress in English, University of Alberta, Edmonton, August 2008.

Plag, Ingo (2008) Variable Kompositabetonung im Englischen: Regelhaft, probabilistisch, oder doch analogisch? Universität Mainz, June 2008.

Plag, Ingo (2007) Deconstructing compound stress, Universität Paderborn, November 2007.

Plag, Ingo & Gero Kunter (2009) Constituent family and compound stress assignment in English. The Third International Conference on the Linguistics of Contemporary English, London, July 14-17, 2009.

Plag, Ingo, Gero Kunter, Sabine Lappe, Maria Braun (2007a) Compound stress in English: modeling the prosody of NN constructions. Poster presented at the 29. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Sprachwissenschaft, Universität Siegen, 28.2.–2.3.2007.

Plag, Ingo, Gero Kunter, Sabine Lappe, Maria Braun (2007b) Compound stress in English: rule-based, probabilistic, or analogical?, University of Essex, 16 February 2007.

Plag, Ingo, Gero Kunter, Sabine Lappe, Maria Braun (2006a) Variable stress assignment in noun-noun compounds: New evidence from corpora, Directions in English Language Studies, University of Manchester, 6–8 April 2006. abstract

Plag, Ingo & Gero Kunter, Sabine Lappe, Maria Braun (2006b) Modeling stress assignment in English noun-noun compounds: a quantitative perspective, Quantitative Investigations in Theoretical Linguistics 2, Universität Osnabrück, 1–2 June 2006.

Plag, Ingo, Gero Kunter, Sabine Lappe, Maria Braun (2006c) Stress in English compounds: a quantitative perspective, Lecture Series Products of the Symbolic Mind, Humboldt-Universität Berlin, 3 July 2006.

Plag, Ingo, Gero Kunter, Sabine Lappe, Maria Braun (2006d) Selten untersucht, aber gar nicht marginal: Variable Kompositabetonung im Englischen und ihre theoretischen Konsequenzen, Workshop Marginale Morphologie, Universität Stuttgart, 21 July 2006.

Plag, Ingo, Gero Kunter, Sabine Lappe, Maria Braun (2006e) Rule-based, probabilistic, or analogical? Compound stress in English, University of Toronto, 6 October 2006.

Plag, Ingo, Gero Kunter, Sabine Lappe, Maria Braun (2006f) Rule-based, probabilistic, or analogical? Compound stress in English, 5th Mental Lexicon Conference, McGill University, Montreal, 11-13 October 2006.

Plag, Ingo & Mareile Schramm (2007) Which principles govern stress assignment in English compounds? Testing structural, semantic, and analogical factors, Second International Conference on the Linguistics of Contemporary English, Université de Toulouse II, 2-4 July 2007.

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last modification: September 6, 2011