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Metrical tree

PHONOLOGY: a branching representation of stress, introduced by Liberman & Prince (1977), see also metrical phonology. A metrical tree is a hierarchy in which syllables are combined into feet and feet into a word constituent. Higher level structure includes the phonological phrase, intonational phrase and utterance (cf. Selkirk (1981), Nespor & Vogel (1986)). Pairs of sister nodes are labeled Weak-Strong or Strong-Weak (or by the Lexical Category Prominence Rule). The English phrase achromatic lens is represented as follows:

                  / \
                 /   \
                /     \
               /       \
              w         s
	   /     \      |	where S = syllable, w = weak
         Fw       Fs    F	      F = foot,	    s = strong
        /  \     /  \    \ 
      Ss   Sw   Ss   Sw   S
      |     |   |    |    |
      a   chro  ma  tic lens
Hayes (1981) constrained metrical theory considerably by the introduction of a universally defined set of parameters that characterize the stress systems of languages (i.e. bounded/unbounded; dominance (left/right), direction of footing, quantity-(in)sensitivity).
LIT. Hayes, B. (1981)
Liberman, M. and A. Prince (1977)
Nespor, M. and I. Vogel (1986)
Selkirk, E.O. (1981)