Recursion in phonology

M.J. Schreuder, D. Gilbers*, H. Quené

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleProfessional


This paper investigates phonological recursion by means of early accent placement (stress shift), which marks the initial boundary of a phonological phrase. The question is whether or not this early pitch accent placement can be applied recursively to phonological phrases that are embedded in larger phonological phrases. This was investigated in a map task experiment, with various dutch phonological phrases as landmarks drawn on the map. The target phrases consisted of a noun modified by either one adjective, of the type aardrijkskùndig genóotschap‘geographical society’, or by two adjectives, of the type amsterdàms aardrijkskùndig genóotschap, i.e. Syntactically recursive noun phrases. An early pitch accent was realized on both the first and the second adjective in 30% of the spoken syntactically recursive phrases: e.g. Àmsterdams àardrijkskundig genóotschap. These prosodically recursive structures indicate that recursion may apply in phonology, as it does in syntax.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1243-1252
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009

Cite this