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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Non-exhaustive parsing : phonetic and phonological evidence from St'át'imcets Caldecott, Marion Gerda


This thesis tests the prediction of the Prosodic Hierarchy model that distinct phonological domains have distinct acoustic characteristics. Specifically, I test the prediction that if non-exhaustively parsed structures are permitted by the model, there should be converging phonological and phonetic evidence that distinguishes them from exhaustively parsed domains. Little phonological and no phonetic evidence has previously been provided to substantiate the proposed structures. I introduce the term ‘extrapod’ to refer to syllables that are not parsed at the foot level and present phonological and phonetic evidence from St’át’imcets (Lillooet Salish) that shows that extrapods are distinguished from exhaustively parsed domains, as predicted. Empirically, this thesis presents the first phonetic documentation of the prosody of St’át’imcets, including phrase-level intonation, stress and boundary effects. The results of this research are intended to both add to the documentation of an endangered language and benefit the community. Theoretically, this thesis confirms a previously untested prediction of current models of prosody, namely that non-exhaustively parsed structures are distinct from exhaustively parsed structures. Results from the investigation of segmental phonological processes, and acoustic correlates of prominence and boundary strength, support a weak but constrained interpretation of the phonetics-phonology mapping. Methodologically, this thesis develops protocols that elicit rigorous phonetic data while being suitable for fieldwork with First Nations elders, and that can be easily adapted into language teaching materials. The combination of verbal and pictoral contexts allows for controlled repetitions of tokens in natural linguistic contexts and provides materials that can be adapted for classroom use.

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