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."
This volume forms part of a ground breaking series of nine books that emerged from a five-year research project (EUROTYP) sponsored by the European Science Foundation (ESF). It is the only volume in the series that deals with phonology and its specific topic is the word accentual (or word stress) systems of European languages. A milestone in phonetic and phonological research, this volume contains two types of studies. The first six chapters are thematic in nature, addressing specific aspects of the phenomenon of word accentuation. Chapter 1 offers a 90 page general background to the study of word accent and to the theoretical perspective that most chapters share. The second half of the volume contains extensive and new case studies of the word prosodic systems of a great number of individual languages or language families. Chapter 7 previews, summarizes and compares the accent systems presented in these case studies and also fills in a number of gaps by briefly sketching the accentual type of a few representatives of families or subfamilies that do not fall within the scope of a separate chapter. This unique collection brings together some of the finest experts in the study of word accentuation, striking a balance between extensive data presenta-tion and sophisticated theoretical analysis.