Greek is a morphology-dependent stress system, where stress is lexically specified for a number of individual morphemes (e.g., roots and suffixes). In the absence of lexically encoded stress, a default stress emerges. Most theoretical analyses of Greek stress that assume antepenultimate stress to represent the default (e.g., Malikouti-Drachman & Drachman 1989; Ralli & Touratzidis 1992; Revithiadou 1999) are not independently confirmed by experimental studies (e.g., Protopapas et al. 2006; Apostolouda 2012; Topintzi & Kainada 2012; Revithiadou & Lengeris in press). Here, we explore the nature of the default stress in Greek with regard to acronyms, given their lack of overt morphology and fixed stress pattern, with a goal of exploring how stress patterns are shaped when morphological information (encapsulated in the inflectional ending) is suppressed. For this purpose, we conducted two production (reading aloud) experiments, which revealed, for our consultants, first, an almost complete lack of antepenultimate stress and, second, a split between penultimate and final stress dependent on acronym length, the type of the final segment and the syllable type of the penultimate syllable. We found two predominant correspondences: (a) consonant-final acronyms and end stress and (b) vowel-final acronyms and the inflected word the vowel represents, the effect being that stress patterns for acronyms are linked to the inflected words they represent only if enough morphonological information about the acronym’s segments is available to create familiarity effects. Otherwise, we find a tendency for speakers to prefer stress at stem edges.
The aim of the present study is threefold: (a) to explore whether Greek adults, who are non-trained speakers and naïve to the purpose of the study, use distinguishable prosodic cues, while producing subject/object ambiguous sentences, (b) to examine whether the same participants use prosody as an important informative cue, morphosyntax aside, in order to decode such ambiguities and (c) to investigate the linking between comprehension and production and more specifically whether prosodic cues are employed by speakers in production to the same extent as they are by listeners in comprehension. For this purpose a production and an on-line comprehension task were conducted. Results revealed that prosodic cues were used to denote the subject or the object condition, but they were not consistently employed in order for the two to be differentiated. The prosodic patterns which were employed also allowed us to examine the predictions made by three psycholinguistic syntax-prosody mappings. The on-line comprehension task demonstrated that listeners were always sensitive to prosody, even though a preference for the object condition was revealed.