Mora stress in Shina as Contrastive Foot Structure


  • Björn Köhnlein University of Ohio


I argue that so-called ‘mora stress’ in Kohistani Shina (spoken in Northern Pakistan, realized as falling vs. rising accent) is best analyzed as a difference in the alignment of a LH* pitch accent to two types of feet (moraic vs. syllabic trochees). This paper offers a formalization of the mapping of (intonational) tones to foot structure and argues that independent evidence for a foot-based approach comes from a process of stress advancement, where stem stress predictably shifts to a following suffix when the final mora of the stem is accented; yet it remains on the stem when the stem accent is on a non-final mora. I end by briefly discussing typological and theoretical implications of our analysis, also drawing on a comparison with a similar advancement pattern in Lithuanian (known as de Saussure’s Law).