chapter  16
16 Pages

Phonology above the word

The phonological structure of languages extends beyond the syllable and the foot. There is a hierarchy of phonological constituents, so that lower, and thus typically smaller constituents, are contained within higher, and thus typically larger ones. For instance, the foot is contained within, or dominated by, the phonological word, and phonological words are grouped into phonological phrases, etc. Instead of ‘phonological constituent’ the term ‘prosodic constituent’ is often used, particularly for the higher constituents, like the phonological phrase, the intonational phrase and the phonological utterance. The entire structure above the syllable is often referred to as the ‘Prosodic Hierarchy’. This line of research began with Selkirk (1972) and was consolidated by Nespor and Vogel (1986), Hayes (1989) and, for the phonological word, Booij (1985), among others.