Unbounded Recursion in Two Dimensions, Where Syntax and Prosody Meet

  • Edward P. Stabler (University of California, Los Angeles)
  • Kristine M Yu (University of Massachusetts Amherst)


Both syntax and prosody seem to require structures with unbounded branching, something that is not immediately provided by multiple context free grammars or other equivalently expressive formalisms. That extension is easy, and does not disrupt an appealing model of prosody/syntax interaction. Rather than computing prosodic and syntactic structures independently and then selecting optimally corresponding pairs, prosodic structures can be computed directly from the syntax, eliminating alignment issues and the need for bracket-insertion or other ad hoc devices. To illustrate, a simple model of prosodically-defined Irish pronoun displacement is briefly compared to previous proposals.

Keywords: syntax prosody interface, minimalist grammar, multiple context free grammar, bottom up transducer

How to Cite:

Stabler, E. P. & Yu, K. M., (2023) “Unbounded Recursion in Two Dimensions, Where Syntax and Prosody Meet”, Society for Computation in Linguistics 6(1), 343-356. doi:

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Published on
01 Jun 2023