BH accents, update

From: Paul R. Zellmer (
Date: Thu Aug 20 1998 - 22:46:26 EDT

Another old contribution from Vince.



From: Vincent DeCaen <>
Date: Thu, 23 Jul 1998 15:08:48 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: BH accents, update

Kirk, Bryan, et al,
re deriving placement and distribution of accents.

the outline of an "optimality"-style, constraint-based algorithm is
now in hand. I'm now attempting to implement it computationally, after
testing it manually on Gen 1 and similar prose texts.

the basic idea is this. (1) there is a simple syntactic-tree-to-
prosodic-phrase mapping which continues until all phrases are two
"words" or less. (2) this tree is submitted to the constraints, and
violations are resolved by the next best parse; morphological
constraints (which draw the maqqef) cover smixut-like environments,
sort of bottom-up, whereas phrasing constraints (which downgrade
phrases, or in the case of D0s can rearrange) have a top-down effect
and might be dubbed "Balance".

right now I count 3 morphological constraints, 4 prosodic phrasing
constraints. the ranking is actually interesting:


it's going to take a little while yet before this all publishable, but
in any case it's going to be technical. sigh. at the least, you'll
have to have some syntax under your belt, and also be familiar with
the accent system at a descriptive level.


Vincent DeCaen, Ph.D. <>
Faculty of Information Studies, University of Toronto

Hebrew Syntax Encoding Initiative
c/o Deparment of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations
4 Bancroft Ave., 2d floor, University of Toronto, Toronto ON, M5S 1A1


When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left, I buy food
and clothes. --Erasmus

Paul and Dee Zellmer, Jimmy Guingab, Geoffrey Beltran
Ibanag Translation Project
Cabagan, Philippines

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