Derivational analyses of Manam stress, in particular that of Halle and Kenstowicz (1991), employ abstract intermediate representations to account for the interaction of the basic right-to-left trochaic foot structure, the special status of extrametrical suffixes and clitics, and the disrupting effect of “stress shift” caused by closed syllables and vowels in hiatus. Such analyses are empirically inadequate, failing to account for secondary stress, and theoretically problematic, using ad hoc rules to produce the necessary effects. The analysis presented here uses alignment in Optimality Theory to generate the basic stress pattern and two well-motivated constraints, ONSET and CLASH, to account for stress shift in a natural way.

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