It has been debated in phonological literature whether word stress should be modeled using metrical grids or feet and how its directionality is assigned. In this article, we discuss new data from Ukrainian, which has a hybrid metrical system with unpredictable lexical stress and grammatical iterative secondary stress. We demonstrate that Ukrainian poses a challenge for current metrical theories relying on gradient alignment and propose an analysis based on categorical alignment coupled with a rhythmic licensing constraint mandating that lapses are located near the main stress (Lapse-at-Peak). We argue that Lapse-at-Peak is required regardless of the stress representations (feet or grids) assumed.

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