Prosodic hierarchy of Estonian Q3

Scott Borgeson, Ph.D.


Research Teaching

Department of Linguistics, Languages, and Cultures

Michigan State University

I am a phonologist at Michigan State University. My primary research interests involve the structure and manipulation of the prosodic hierarchy, and include topics such as:

Much of my work focuses on Estonian and Slovak, both of which exhibit a unique phenomenon known as long-distance compensatory lengthening: the deletion of one segment can trigger the lengthening of another even though the two stand at opposite ends of the word.

The image at the top of this page shows this process occurring in one Estonian word, /külma-ta/ "," which becomes [kül:ma] after: (1) the final vowel deletes; (2) the mora of that vowel (μ4) moves onto the preceding vowel, displacing the original mora of that vowel (μ3); and (3) that mora then migrates to the first-syllable coda (/l/).