|Title: ||The emergence of group stress in medieval French|
|Authors: ||Rainsford, Thomas Michael|
|Issue Date: ||3-May-2011|
|Abstract: ||The thesis investigates the development of the group-stress system in French
from the earliest textual records to 1500. Empirical work is based on a corpus
compiled especially for the study, which comprises 87 extracts from medieval
French texts totalling over 250,000 words, composed mainly of verse texts to
make use of the extra phonological information provided by the form. A unique
metrical and syntactic annotation is used in the corpus to permit studies of
phonological phrasing and stress placement in lines of verse.
Much octosyllabic narrative verse, in particular texts associated with oral
performance, is shown to have an iambic rhythmic tendency in the pre-1250
period, which is particularly strong in the earliest texts. No such effect is
found in lyric texts or plays, or in narrative from after 1250. Additionally, a
phonological phrase boundary is commonly found in the middle of the line.
Iambic rhythmic organization is argued to be incompatible with group stress
and associated ‘stress deafness’ effects observed in modern French. From this
data, group stress is argued to have developed between the mid-12th and mid-
Work on modern French (e.g. Post, 2000) suggests that the stress group
is the phonological phrase. Through reconstruction of the phonological phrasing
of medieval French, the thesis demonstrates that regular word-final stress,
the phonological phrase internal process of stress clash resolution, and the frequency
of monosyllabic words combine to favour reanalysis of the French stress
system in the pre-1250 period. Finally, the hypothesis that prosodic change affected
verb-second word order in medieval French is reconsidered. It is argued
that light clause-initial constituents which do not form their own phonological
phrase (i.e. short adverbs, subject pronouns) become unstressed, a development
which triggers syntactic changes that lead to the introduction of non
verb-second word orders.|
|Appears in Collections:||Theses - Department of Linguistics|
This item has been accessed 243 times.
Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.