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Reviewed by:
  • Phonological domains: Universals and deviations
  • Judith Meinschaefer
Phonological domains: Universals and deviations. Ed. by Janet Grijzenhout and Bariş Kabak. (Interface explorations 16.) Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 2009. Pp. viii, 356. ISBN 9783110205404. $137 (Hb).

This book contains a selection of articles originally presented at a workshop on phonological domains held in 2007 as part of the annual meeting of the German Linguistic Association. Their shared topic is the theory of prosodic phonology. The focus of the articles is on the basic principles constraining prosodic structure, particularly various aspects of the strict layer hypothesis, as well as on the precise nature of the prosodic hierarchy and its constituents. While the articles address a wide array of phenomena and languages, some aspects are especially salient: (i) the nature of the prosodic word as a domain, (ii) the question of whether prosodic structure is, like morphosyntactic structure, recursive and based on constituent boundaries, and (iii) questions about the general architecture of the interface of morphosyntactic and prosodic structure.

The volume comprises an introduction by the editors and ten articles presenting original research. In the introduction, ‘Prosodic phonology: An appraisal’ (1–7), Janet Grijzenhout and Barış Kabak recapitulate the most important hypotheses and research questions that have guided research on prosodic domains in the last three decades and show how the articles relate to these issues.

The first article, by Irene Vogel, ‘The status of the clitic group’ (15–46), reassesses the evidence for and against a prosodic domain that stands between the prosodic word and the phonological phrase. Such an intermediate domain was proposed more than two decades ago, but it has been discussed controversially in subsequent research. As pointed out by Vogel, phonological phenomena in various languages provide evidence for a domain between the word and the phrase, which cannot be reduced to either of the two. While in earlier work this domain was termed the clitic group (CG) and was invoked primarily to account for the prosodification of clitics, Vogel here proposes to rename it the composite group, since morphological compounds also display the phonological properties that motivate this domain. The alternative to postulating a separate domain between word and phrase is to allow for recursion at the level of the prosodic word, an approach taken by Bariş Kabak and Anthi Revithiadou in their chapter, ‘An interface approach to [End Page 201] prosodic word recursion’ (105–33). Adopting an optimality-theoretic approach to prosodic structure, they show that recursive prosodic constituents may be derived straightforwardly by drawing on the well-established constraints, Align and Wrap, with no need for additional constraints referring explicitly to recursivity. On the empirical side, based on the observations from Greek and Turkish compounds and host-clitic sequences, they claim that such structures, which are larger than prosodic words, nevertheless display the same phonological properties as these. At the same time, they are different from phonological phrases and are therefore best analyzed as recursive prosodic words.

Arguments for prosodic recursion at the word level are likewise put forward in Junko Ito and Armin Mester’s article, ‘The extended prosodic word’ (135–94). The authors carefully discuss the phonological behavior of function-word complexes in English and German with regard to a variety of segmental and rhythmic alternations. They conclude that for both languages, a structure with the function word adjoined to its host’s prosodic word can best explain the phenomena. As for the question of how to derive prosodic word adjunction (i.e. recursivity), they propose a constraint requiring that prosodic heads be contained in lexical words, which, besides favoring prosodic adjunction of function words, provides a theoretical ground for the observation that function words are, in general, prosodically invisible.

Adecidedly typological approach to the prosodic word is chosen in ‘The distribution of phonological word domains: A probabilistic typology’ (47–75) by Balthasar Bickel, Kristine A. Hildebrandt, and René Schiering. They investigate the prosodic domains of phonological alternations in more than sixty languages from different language families, concentrating on wordsize domains (defined as domains containing exactly one lexical stem) to examine whether crosslinguistically such alternations cluster on a...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1535-0665
Print ISSN
0097-8507
Pages
pp. 201-203
Launched on MUSE
2011-03-26
Open Access
No
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