chapter  3
31 Pages

On a Certain Notion of Occurrence: The Source of Metrical Structure and of Much More


The notation in (1) has been referred to as a metrical grid. It was originally developed in M. Liberman’s work (see, e.g., Liberman 1975), and subsequently adapted in Halle and Vergnaud 1987. In essence, the metrical notation identifi es a stress contour with a particular period in some beat. For nominee, the correspondence is indicated in (2):



Consider such an English word as nominee. The primary stress in nominee is located on the last vowel. This stress contour is standardly represented as in (1): 3


The underlying hypothesis is that a stress contour is a rhythmic organization of constituents. Call this the metrical hypothesis.