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."
Note: This is the paperback edition of a previously announced book.
This book provides an overview of the role of the syllable in Optimality Theory (OT) and ways in which problems that relate to the analysis of syllable structure can be solved in OT. The contributions to the book show that the syllable not only sheds light on certain properties of OT itself. They also show that OT is capable of describing and adequately analyzing many issues that are problematic in other theories. The analyses are based on a wealth of languages.