This book "asserts that the origin and spread of languages must be examined primarily through the time-tested techniques of linguistic analysis, rather than those of evolutionary biology" and "defends traditional practices in historical linguistics while remaining open to new techniques, including computational methods" and "will appeal to readers interested in world history and world geography."
In this book leading scholars address the issues surrounding the syntax-phonology interface. These principally concern whether the phonological component can influence syntax and if so how far and in what ways: such questions are a prominent component of current work on the biolinguistics of speech production and reception. The problematic relationship between syntax and phonology has long piqued the interest of syntacticians and phonologists: the connections between sound and structure have played a key role in generative grammar from its inception, initially relating to focus and the prosodic marking of constituent structure and more recently to word-order constraints. This book advances this work in a series of critical and interlinked presentations of the latest thinking and research. In doing so it draws on data from a wide range of languages, evidence from disordered language, and related work in language acquisition.