phrasal pause: an idea

Henry Churchyard churchh at
Mon Jun 25 16:12:34 EDT 2001

> Subject: phrasal pause: an idea
> From: decaen at (Vincent DeCaen)
> Date: Wed, 20 Jun 2001 11:05:30 -0400 (EDT)

> hitherto tiberian pause has been thought to come in two flavours:
> major pause (silluq, athnach) and minor pause (lesser accents). but
> there are pause-like behaviours elsewhere, not accounted for.  i'm
> proposing a working hypothesis, and i wondered if anyone had any
> ideas, or has seen the idea anticipated elsewhere.  "phrasal pause":
> for two prosodic words (W) phrased together [W1 W2], if W2 is in
> pause, so is W1. hence phrasal pause.  i believe this approach might
> solve some vowel alternations in the tiberian reading.  any
> thoughts, suggestions?  henry

Actually, the difference between "minor pause" and "major pause", as
concrete phenomena, is not one of associated accents, but a difference
of the particular types of changes which occur in particular forms.
Basically, "minor" pause involves inhibition of stress shift without
special pausal change in the quantity or quality of the vowel of the
main-stressed syllable; while "major" pause involves the inhibition of
stress shift (if applicable to the particular form) as well as pausal
change in the vowel of the main-stressed syllable.  There are some
forms which aren't clearly characterized by this distinction (so that
for example Goerwitz classifies _yiqt at luun_ vs. _yiqtooluun_ as a
"minor pausal" alternation, despite the fact that stress doesn't shift
there, since the stressed vowel doesn't actually change in these forms
either), but basically it's as I stated it above.

In my dissertation, I examined inhibition of stress shift only (a
"minor" pausal phenomenon), and other than the fact that inhibition of
stress shift almost always did occur in words with the accents
_silluq_, _athnah._, _s at gholta_, and _shalsheleth_, the distribution
of inhibition of stress shift was not really determined by the
individual accent on each word, but was rather determined more by the
structural position of the word within the overall parse constructed
collectively from all the accents on all the words in a verse.

"Pause by attraction" (that is, a pausal form found next to another
form, where only one of the two words is in a pausal environment in
accentual or structural terms) was diagnosed by Goerwitz to occur in
Isaiah 65:1 (as discussed on p. 534 of my dissertation), and a few
other cases may occur, but it's not a very widespread phenomenon, and
doesn't account for the distribution of the great majority of pausal
forms.  Otherwise, I'm not really sure I fully understand your

Henry Churchyard   churchh at

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