Gouskova and Roon 2013

Gouskova, Maria and Kevin Roon. 2013. Gradient clash, faithfulness, and sonority sequencing effects in Russian compound stress. Laboratory Phonology. 4:2, pp. 323-434.

Russian normally does not have secondary stress, but it is variably realized in compounds. We examined the factors that contribute to secondary stress realization in a rating study, where speakers were asked to rate compounds pronounced without secondary stress and with secondary stress in various locations. We refine some generalizations from impressionistic descriptions: acceptability of secondary stress is sensitive to the token frequency of the compound, though acceptability depends on the nature of the left-hand stem. Ratings improve as distance between stresses increases, and this effect is gradient rather than categorical. We also identify new generalizations about secondary stress that relates to the properties of the left-hand stem. First, we identify a faithfulness effect: stress realization is optional on lexically stressed stems, but stress movement is strongly penalized. Second, we identify a sonority sequencing effect: secondary stress is not tolerated well on linker vowels in compounds, but acceptability improves significantly when the linker is the only vowel in a stem with a falling sonority cluster. Thus, the stress system distinguishes clusters with falling sonority from other types.

Audio stimuli [zip]

Stats and data [zip]