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Stress and Syntax: A Reply

Joan W. Bresnan
Language
Vol. 48, No. 2 (Jun., 1972), pp. 326-342
DOI: 10.2307/412138
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/412138
Page Count: 17
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Stress and Syntax: A Reply
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Abstract

The Ordering Hypothesis of Bresnan 1971a projects the stress contours of simple S's onto complex syntactic structures by permitting stress rules to apply systematically within the transformational derivation. This hypothesis, a principle governing the application of stress rules, is distinct from the stress rules themselves. Berman and Szamosi 1972 fail to observe this distinction in their attempt to demonstrate the futility of any principle like the Ordering Hypothesis. As a result, their 'counter-examples', together with facts they do not consider, actually support the Ordering Hypothesis, which is necessary to project onto complex cases any valid generalizations about stress and surface structure or meaning. Lakoff 1972 also makes mistakes of interpretation and argument; his global alternative compares unfavorably with the Ordering Hypothesis in describing and explaining the apparent 'optionality' of stress contours.

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