Prosodic structure and suprasegmental features: Short-vowel stød in Danish

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This paper presents a phonological analysis of a glottalization phenomenon in dialects of Danish known as ‘short-vowel stød’. It is argued that both short-vowel stød and common Danish stød involve the attachment of a laryngeal feature to a prosodic node—specifically the mora. In the case of short-vowel stød that mora lacks segmental content, as it is projected top-down due to local prosodic requirements, not bottom-up by segmental material. I show that this device provides an account of the distribution of short-vowel stød as arising from the interplay of constraints on metrical structure (both lexically stored and computed by the grammar) and the requirement for morae to be featurally licensed. The analysis provides further evidence for the analysis of ‘tonal accents’ and related phenomena in terms of metrical structure rather than lexical tone or laryngeal features,and contributes to our understanding of the relationship between segmental and suprasegmental phonology in Germanic languages.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-268
JournalJournal of Comparative Germanic Linguistics
Issue number3
Early online date1 Sep 2016
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2016


  • Danish
  • Stød
  • suprasegmentals
  • tonal accents
  • metrical phonology
  • moraic theory


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