Accent, Syllable Structure, and Morphology in Ancient Greek

In ancient Greek, the pitch accent of most words depends on the syllabification assigned to underlying representations, while a smaller, morphologically identifiable class of derived words is accented on the basis of the surface syllable structure, which results from certain contraction and deletion processes. Noyer 1997 proposes a cyclic analysis of these facts and argues that they are incompatible with parallel OT assumptions. His central claim is that the pre-surface syllabification to which accent is assigned in the bulk of the Greek vocabulary does not occur at a “level privileged by UG,” such as the word level or the “cycle-final” level, but simply at an arbitrary point in the derivation. (p. 502). The implication is that extrinsic rule ordering is required to do justice to the accent system. Thus, Noyer’s work presents a challenge to any version of OT phonology. In this paper, I take up the challenge and argue that, although fully parallel OT may not be up to dealing with these accentual facts, the stratal version of OT based on Lexical Phonology and Phonology (stratal OT, or LPM-OT, Kiparsky 2000, to appear) provides a much better analysis of them than phonology with ordered rules does.
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