A fundamentally new approach to the theory of phonology and its relation to syntax is developed in this book, which is the first to address the question of the relation between syntax and phonology in a systematic way.
This general theory differs from its predecessors in the generative tradition in several respects. By arguing that the intonational structure of a sentence determines certain aspects of its stress pattern or rhythmic structure, and not vice versa, it provides a novel view of the intonation-stress relation. It also offers a new theory of the focus-prosody relation that solves a variety of classic puzzles and involves an appeal to the place of a focused constituent in the predicate-argument structure of the sentence. The book also includes other novel features, among them a development of the metrical grid theory of stress (including a complete treatment of English word stress in this framework), the representation of juncture in terms of "silent" positions in the metrical grid (with a treatment of sandhi in terms of this rhythmic juncture), and a "rhythmic" nonsyntactic approach to the basic phonology of function words in English
This book is tenth in the series Current Studies in Linguistics.
About the Author
Elisabeth O. Selkirk is Professor of Linguistics at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.