Harris: Introduction to the Prosodic Structure of Words

In this course we explore how speech sounds are organised into words, syllables, and stress units. We interrogate orthodox answers given to questions such as the following. How are words broken down into syllables? What is the relation between word edges and syllable edges? What impact does stress have on vowel and consonant systems? How does the size of syllables influence the location of word stress? What factors determine the size of words? The evidence we’ll bring to bear on these issues comes mainly from the analysis of languages’ prosodic systems.

It will help to have some knowledge of elementary phonetics and phonology.

Suggested reading:

Szigetvári, Péter (2011). Syllables. In Kula, Nancy C., Bert Botma & Kuniya Nasukawa (eds.), Continuum companion to phonology, 64-94. London/New York: Continuum International. [pdf]