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DELTA: Documentação de Estudos em Lingüística Teórica e Aplicada

versión impresa ISSN 0102-4450versión On-line ISSN 1678-460X


ABAURRE, Maria Bernadete  y  GALVES, Charlotte. Rhythmic differences between European and Brazilian Portuguese: an optimalist and minimalist approach. DELTA [online]. 1998, vol.14, n.2, pp.377-403. ISSN 0102-4450.

The aim of this paper is to discuss some rhythmic differences between European and Brazilian Portuguese and their relationship to pretonic vowel reduction phenomena. After the basic facts of PE and PB are presented, we show that the issue cannot be discussed without taking into account secondary stress placement, and we proceed to present the algorithm-based approach to secondary stress in Portuguese, representative of Metrical Phonology analyses. After showing that this deterministic approach cannot adequately explain the variable position of secondary stress in both languages regarding words with an even number of pretonic syllables, we argue for the interpretation of secondary stress and therefore for the construction of rhythmic units at the PF interface, as suggested in Chomsky’s Minimalist Program. We also propose, inspired by the constrain hierarchies as proposed in Optimality Theory, that such interpretation must take into account two different constraint rankings, in EP and BP. These different rankings would ultimately explain the rhythmic differences between both languages, as well as the different behavior of pretonic vowels with respect to reduction processes.

Palabras clave : Secondary Stress and Rhythm; Rhythmic Units; Pretonic Vowel Reduction; Constraint Hierarchy; Interpretation at the PF Interface of   Grammar.

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