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Optimal Way(s) to acquire Stress in Greek

Departmental seminar. Marina Tzakosta is a Ph.D. student in the University of Leiden Center for Linguistics.

The present talk focuses on the acquisition of word stress in Greek and the
degree to which stress assignment is phonologically and/or morphologically
conditioned. The Greek child data demonstrate that children acquire stress
in less predictable ways than Dutch (cf. Fikkert 1994) or English (cf.
Demuth and Fee 1995, Pater 1997) children. More specifically, child speech
displays variable and overlapping patterns in children's productions. For
example, trochees and iambs are equally produced for target words with
ambiguous metrical structure. Moreover, children tend to be unfaithful to
certain biases, such as the trochaic prosodic word minimum. I argue that
this is attributed to the unpredictable nature of the accentual system of
Greek. Due to such findings, I challenge the idea of the trochaic bias
hypothesis as well as the existence of clear-cut stages in Greek child
speech. I rather claim that learning proceeds and is facilitated by means of
various developmental paths, that is, distinct learning strategies that
children follow throughout language development. These developmental paths
are depicted in the multiple parallel grammars model (Tzakosta in prep.)


Marina Tzakosta | talks


Date and Time:

19 May 2004 at 11:00 am


1 hour 30 minutes



UCL Department of Phonetics and Linguistics
University College London
Gower Street


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Additional Information:

In room 5, 20 Gordon Square. For directions email molly@phon.ucl.ac.uk

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