This paper presents an analysis of the stress system in the Nahualá dialect of K’ichee’ (a Mayan language spoken in Western Guatemala) and discusses the theoretical implications of K’ichee’ stress. In K’ichee’, quantity sensitivity is dependent on position within a word rather than syllable structure. The analysis of K’ichee’ suggests the need for a uniform analysis of foot structure within OT so that stress is always dependent on foot structure rather than syllable structure (with the effects of quantity sensitivity resulting from the equation of a foot with a single syllable). The proposed analysis is applied to the case of Hixkaryana, which has been problematic for OT models of stress (cf. Halle and Idsardi 2000), showing that the analysis proposed here overcomes many of the problems found in Kager’s (1999) analysis of stressed-syllable lengthening in Hixkaryana.

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