Mora count and the alignment of rising pitch accents in Iron Ossetic

Lena Borise, David Erschler

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Based on instrumental results, this paper provides an Autosegmental-Metrical analysis of the patterns of formation and acoustic marking of Phonological Phrases (φs) in Iron Ossetic, an understudied East Iranian language of Russia. We demonstrate that (i) nominal phrases in Iron Ossetic correspond to φs, (ii) left φ-edges are consistently marked with stress-aligned rising pitch accents, (iii) there are two distinct rising pitch accents, which we label L*+H and L+H*, and (iv) the anchoring of individual tones to metrical targets is determined by the moraic structure of the stressed syllable. We account for these facts by extending the analysis of rising pitch accents in Romance in [1] and the analysis of Franconian prosody in [2]. We argue that stressed vowels carry a rising pitch accent. Strong vowels are bi-moraic; when stressed, the two morae can either carry L and H (with H undergoing secondary association with the next syllable), producing L+H*, or both carry L, with H docking on the next syllable, producing L*+H. Mono-moraic stressed vowels can only host L, with H realized on the next syllable, producing L*+H. Our account, therefore, provides further support for the contrastive metrical structure approaches to tonal phenomena [2]–[6].

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)871-875
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the International Conference on Speech Prosody
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2022
Event11th International Conference on Speech Prosody, Speech Prosody 2022 - Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: 23 May 202226 May 2022


  • Iranian
  • Iron Ossetic
  • alignment
  • mora count
  • pitch accent
  • stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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