Elisabeth Selkirk

Department of Linguistics
226 South College
University of Massachusetts
Amherst, MA 01003

Phone: 413-545-0889
Fax: 413-545-2792
E-mail: selkirk "at" linguist.umass.edu

Research  | Articles and Book Chapters |


I work primarily in phonological theory and on the interfaces of phonology with other components of grammar. In recent years I have been pursuing my long-standing interest in the syntax-phonology interface, in particular as it involves intonation, and have been interested in intonation as it relates to meaning. Much of my work at the syntax-phonology interface has centered on the system of constraints for relating syntactic phrase structure to prosodic constituent structure, and on the interaction of these constraints with properly phonological constraints in determining the prosodic structure organization of the sentence. My recent NSF-supported research on the reflexes of Focus in phonology has led me to entertain the hypothesis that interface-induced Focus stress-prominence lies behind the full range of phonological and phonetic properties of Focus. The languages whose sentence phonology I have been exploring in greatest depth include English and Japanese. Some of my recent work at the morphology-phonology interface includes investigations into the phonology and morphosyntax of clitics and into the nature of affix classes. Over the years, my interest in the various interfaces has spun off into work on the theory of prosodic structure itself (feet, syllables, prosodic word, the various levels of phrasing), into work on the metrical grid, and into work in the theory of tone. I have also done research on the nature and organization of phonological features.

Articles and Book Chapters since 2000

(with Jonah Katz) Contrastive Focus vs. Discourse-New: Evidence from Phonetic Prominence in English, To appear in the December 2011 issue of Language.

The Syntax-Phonology Interface, in J. Goldsmith, J. Riggle, and A. Yu, eds., The Handbook of Phonological Theory, 2nd edition. Oxford: Blackwell, 2011.

On clause and intonational phrase in Japanese: The syntactic grounding of prosodic constituent structure, Gengo Kenkyu (Journal of the Linguistics Society of Japan), 136, 1-39. Special Issue on Linguistic Interfaces ed. by Haruo Kubozono), 2009.

Contrastive focus, givenness and the unmarked status of ‘discourse-new’, Acta Hungarica Linguistica, 55(3-4), 331-346. Special Issue on Information Structure ed. by C.Féry and Gisebert Fanselow. 2008.

Bengali intonation revisited: An optimality theoretic analysis in which Focus stress prominence drives Focus phrasing, In C. Lee, M. Gordon and D. Büring, eds.,Topic and Focus: A Cross-Linguistic Perspective.  Dordrecht: Kluwer, 217-246.  2007.

(with Angelika Kratzer) Phase theory and prosodic spellout: The case of verbs The Linguistic Review 24, 93-135. Special issue on Prosodic Phrasing, ed. by Sonia Frota and Pilar Prieto, 2007.

Comments on Intonational Phrasing in English, in S. Frota, M. Vigario, and M.-J. Freitas, eds. Prosodies. Mouton de Gruyter, Berlin, 2005. Also in S. Kawahara, ed., Papers in Prosody, UMOP 30, 2005.

(with T. Shinya and S. Kawahara) Rhythmic Boost and recursive minor phrase in, Japanese, in Proceedings of Speech Prosody 2004, Nara, Japan. Also in S. Kawahara, ed., (op.cit.).

(with T. Shinya and S. Kawahara) Phonological and Phonetic Effects of Minor Phrase Length on F0 in Japanese, in Proceedings of Speech Prosody 2004, Nara, Japan. Also in S. Kawahara, ed., (op.cit.).

(with T. Shinya and S. Kawahara) Degree of Initial Lowering in Japanese as a Reflex of Prosodic Structure Organization, Proceedings of the 15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, Barcelona. 2003. Also in S. Kawahara, ed., (op.cit.).

The prosodic Structure of Function Words, in J. McCarthy, ed. Optimality Theory in Phonology: A Reader, Blackwell Publishing, 2003. (Originally published in K. Demuth and J.Morgan, eds., Signal to Syntax: Bootstrapping from Speech to Grammar in Early Acquisition, Lawrence Erlbaum, 1996.

Sentence phonology, In The Oxford International Encyclopedia of Linguistics, 2nd edition, ed. William Frawley and William Bright. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2003.

Contrastive FOCUS vs. Presentational Focus: Prosodic Evidence from the Right Node Raising in English, In Speech Prosody 2002: Proceedings of the First International Speech Prosody Conference, B. Bel and I. Marlin (eds.), 643-646. Laboratoire Parole et Langage, Université de Provence.

On the phonologically-driven nonrealization of function words, In The Proceeding of The Berkeley Linguistic Society 29. 2001.

The syntax-phonology interface, in B. Comrie, ed., Linguistics section of International  Encyclopedia of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Elsevier, 2001.

The interaction of constraints on prosodic phrasing, in M. Horne, ed., Prosody: Theory and Experiments,  Kluwer, 2000.

Last updated on October 14, 2011
Copyright © 2011 by Elisabeth Selkirk
All rights reserved