Some notes on Tagalog prosody and scrambling

Abstract

This paper outlines some facts of Tagalog prosody. The basic pitch excursions of Tagalog turn out to be remarkably similar to those of Irish, as described by Elfner (2012; 2015). After discussing in some detail the properties of Tagalog pitch rises and falls, and their sensitivity to the position of stress and of prosodic word boundaries, I make an observation about the interaction of word order with pitch peak height. It turns out that objects are generally higher-pitched than subjects would be in the same position, both in VOS and in VSO order; interestingly, this generalization is blind to the “Philippine-style voice” system, and makes reference only to thematic subjects and objects. I speculate that this generalization represents the Tagalog expression of nuclear stress: objects, no matter where they are in the Tagalog sentence, receive nuclear stress, realized as a heightened pitch peak.

This article is part of Special Collection: Prosody and Constituent Structure

Keywords

Tagalog, scrambling, prosody, Match Theory, nuclear stress, Irish

How to Cite

Richards, N., (2017) “Some notes on Tagalog prosody and scrambling”, Glossa: a journal of general linguistics 2(1), p.21. doi: https://doi.org/10.5334/gjgl.252

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Norvin Richards (MIT, 32-D868 MIT, Cambridge, MA 02139)

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0

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