|dc.description.abstract||Since Chomsky & Halle (1968), English stress preservation – oríginal -> orìginálity,
óbvious -> óbviousness – has been important in generative discussions of
morphophonological interaction. This thesis carries out empirical investigations into
English stress preservation, and uses their results to argue for a particular version of
Optimality Theory: Stratal Optimality Theory (‘Stratal OT’) (Kiparsky, 1998a, 2000,
2003a; Bermúdez-Otero, 1999, 2003, in preparation). In particular, the version of
Stratal OT proposed in Bermúdez-Otero (in preparation) and Bermúdez-Otero and
McMahon (2006) is supported.
The empirical investigations focus upon the type of preservation where
preserved stress is subordinated in the preserving word (‘weak preservation’): e.g.
oríginal -> orìginálity; àntícipate -> antìcipátion. Evidence for the existence of
weak preservation is presented. However, it is also shown that weak preservation is
not consistently successful, but that it is, rather, probabilistically dependent upon
word frequency. This result is expected in light of work like Hay (2003), where it is
proposed that word frequency affects the strength of relationships between words:
stress preservation is an indicator of such a relationship.
Stratal OT can handle the existence of English stress preservation: by
incorporating the cyclic interaction between morphological and phonological
modules proposed in Lexical Phonology and Morphology (‘LPM’), Stratal OT has
the intrinsic serialism which is necessary to predict a phenomenon like English stress
preservation. It is shown that the same cannot be said for those of models of OT
which attempt to handle preservation while avoiding such serialism, notably, Benua
Bermúdez-Otero’s (in preparation) proposal of ‘fake cyclicity’ for the first
stratum in Stratal OT can capture weak preservation’s probabilistic dependence upon
word frequency. Fake cyclicity rejects the cycle which has previously been proposed
to handle weak stress preservation, in LPM and elsewhere; instead, fake cyclicity
proposes that weak preservation is a result of blocking among stored lexical entries.
Blocking is independently established as a psycholinguistic phenomenon that is
probabilistically dependent upon word frequency; in contrast, the cycle is not a probabilistic mechanism, and so can only handle instances of stress preservation
failure by stipulation.||en