Phases and accent assignment domains

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The theory of syntactic domains capturing limits on syntactic interactions between elements and the model of grammar where phonology follows syntax have raised questions about whether syntactic domains may limit phonological interactions as well. While previous research provides various studies showing that syntactic domains do correspond to phonological domains in many contexts (Dobashi 2003; Kratzer and Selkirk 2007; Elfner 2012; Talić 2018 a.o.), the idea that syntactic spell-out determines prosodic domains has not remained unchallenged (e.g., Cheng and Downing 2011). In this chapter, I discuss two Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian (BCS) accent assignment rules from this perspective and show that while syntactic spell-out domain boundaries do seem to limit these accentual rules in some case, it is less clear that they do so in others. I review three different contexts where accent assignment may be expected to be affected by phases: the clausal domain (CP), the phasehood within PPs, and the adjectival domain. I show that accent assignment rules do show sensitivity to spell-out domain boundaries. If a spell-out domain does not create a prosodic constituent large enough to trigger accent assignment, then an accent domain spans over the material from two spell-out domains.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRepresenting phonological detail part I
Subtitle of host publicationSegmental structure and representations
PublisherDe Gruyter
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9783110730098
ISBN (Print)9783110735000
StatePublished - Mar 20 2023


  • Accent assignment domain
  • Clitics
  • High tone
  • Phases
  • Pitch accent
  • Spell-out

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Social Sciences


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