Diachronic change in Erzya word stress

Diachronic change in Erzya word stress

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Estill, Dennis
Diachronic change in Erzya word stress
Finno-Ugrian Society
Suomalais-Ugrilaisen Seuran Toimituksia 246
Vammala 2004, 249 pp.


In investigating word stress in Erzya the historical analysis in this study has been based on documentary evidence extant from the late 18th century, specifically the Damaskin Dictionaries commissioned for Catherine the Great and a short catechism, both of which documents are marked for word stress, and the modern state of word stress has been determined using auditory and acoustic methods. The results have shown that word stress in Erzya was and is based on the speakers individual preferences, speakers generally prefer to stress the initial syllable today whereas 200 years ago the second syllable was usually stressed, Moksha has propably undergone a similar development, Mordvin cannot be convincingly used to support theories of initial stress in Proto-Finno-Ugrian, and in modern Erzya, contrary to what is generally considered of most other languages, it is intensity when combined with duration rather than fundamental frequency that seems to be the main acoustic parameter of word stress.

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ISBN 952-5150-80-1
ISSN 0355-0230