Phonetic Evidence for Silent Beats in English

  • Published : 2003.03.01


This paper proposes an empty constituent, a silent beat, to express long duration of stressed syllable in the word final position and rhythmic correspondence in English. This empty constituent has an important consequence. It helps reveal one of the characteristics English feet have: they must be non-final in nouns as well as in verbs. In addition, the silent beats overcome the shortcomings of empty constituents proposed previously, namely null vowels (Burzio 1994) and invisible suffixes (Hammond 1999).