In contrast to previous approaches to phonological typology, the typology of syllable and word languages relates the patterns of syllable structure, phoneme inventory, and phonological processes to the relevance of the prosodic domains of the syllable and the phonological word. This volume proves how useful this kind of typology is for the understanding of language variation and change. By providing a synchronic and diachronic account of the syllable and the phonological word in Central Catalan (Catalan dialect group) and Swabian (Alemannic dialect group), the author shows how the evolution of Old Catalan and Old Alemannic can be explained in terms of a typological drift toward an increased relevance of the phonological word. Further, the description of Central Catalan and Swabian allows to identify common strategies for profiling the phonological word and thus makes an important contribution to research on prosodic phonology.
Javier Caro Reina, University of Cologne, Germany.