Iosad, Pavel. 2015. ‘Pitch accent’ and prosodic structure in Scottish Gaelic: Reassessing the role of contact. In Martin Hilpert, Jan-Ola Östman, Christine Mertzlufft, Michael Rießler, and Janet Duke (ed.), New trends in Nordic and general linguistics, 28–54. Berlin: Mouton De Gruyter.

 download pdf

The file is open to annotations via Hypothes.is. Comments are always welcome!

Categories:  Scottish Gaelic Breton Irish North Germanic Prosody Language contact Historical phonology

 Share on Twitter

This paper considers the origin of ‘pitch accents’ in Scottish Gaelic with a view to evaluating the hypothesis that this feature was borrowed from North Germanic varieties spoken by Norse settlers in medieval Scotland. It is shown that the ‘pitch accent’ system in Gaelic is tightly bound with metrical structure (more precisely syllable count), certainly diachronically, and probably (at least in some varieties) synchronically. Gaelic ‘pitch accent’ is argued to be a plausible internal development, parallel to similar phenomena in other branches of Celtic (specifically in Breton), as well as in Germanic. This conclusion may appear to undermine the contact hypothesis, especially in the absence of reliable written sources; nevertheless, a certain role for Norse-Gaelic contact in the appearance of the pitch accent system cannot be completely excluded


← The phonology and morphosyntax of Breton mutation | Writing | Prosodic structure and suprasegmental features →

About me

I’m Pavel Iosad, and I'm a Lecturer in Theoretical Phonology in the department of Linguistics and English Language at the University of Edinburgh. ¶ You can always go to the start page to learn more.

elsewhere

Updates

Subscribe to the  RSS feed, or follow me on Twitter at  @anghyflawn.

Search