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Volume 1, Issue 4 (2007) Pp. 1–59.

A Preliminary Account of Stress in SENĆOŦEN (Saanich/North Straits Salish)
by Janet Leonard, University of Victoria

The purpose of this paper is to contribute to our understanding of how stress is assigned in SENĆOŦEN. The stress system of Salish languages has been traditionally thought of as highly morpho-lexical. Montler (1986:23) states that in SENĆOŦEN, roots and affixes are lexically specified for their stress properties. However, in this paper. I claim that stress assignment in SENĆOŦEN is more predictable than previously thought. The stress pattern of a high number of polymorphemic words, namely those that contain lexical suffixes, can be accounted for phonologically. Using an Optimality Theory analysis, it is possible to show that a weight distinction between full vowels and schwa coupled with a right aligned trochaic foot determines stress placement in SENĆOŦEN. I also examine the phonotactics which prevent certain consonant clusters from occurring. However, I do not claim to answer all the questions surrounding SENĆOŦEN schwa and stress, but instead hope to offer a potentially fruitful direction for future research into the stress system of SENĆOŦEN.

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Acknowledgements Copyright © 2007 Northwest Journal of Linguistics ISSN 1718-8563