Metrical exceptionality and stress shift in Romanian nouns and adjectives


  • Sofia Alexei
  • Shanti Ulfsbjorninn


This paper proposes a reanalysis of stress in Romanian nouns and adjectives. We will argue that an analysis in Strict CV Metrics produces a simple account of the stress facts of Romanian without arbitrarily dividing the lexicon into regular and irregular words. The result is a system, which, although entirely lexically marked, always has accent falling within a determined metrical window; one that is not defined by syllables or feet, but CV syllabification. In this reanalysis, all forms share precisely the same conditions on stress. Moreover, the fact that the window is defined in CVs rather than syllables uniquely makes the correct prediction that nouns/adjectives of the shape CV́.CV.CVC are impossible. Previous accounts that split the lexicon into “regular” and “irregular” forms have no obvious way to exclude this particular shape, despite it being truly unattested in the language, unlike the stated “exceptional” patterns, all of which are attested. We further use the Strict CV metrical window to correctly predict a pattern of stress shift observed with the adjectival suffix -ik. The implications for diphthong structures in Romanian are also discussed.


Stress, Romanian, Metrical window, Strict CV, Stress Shift, Diphthongs


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