The Indo-European Syllable
Andrew Miles Byrd, University of Kentucky
In The Indo-European Syllable Andrew Miles Byrd investigates the process of syllabification within Proto-Indo-European (PIE), revealing connections to a number of seemingly unrelated phonological processes in the proto-language.
Drawing from insights in linguistic typology and synchronic theory, he makes two significant advances in our understanding of PIE phonology. First, by analyzing securely reconstructable consonant clusters at word’s edge, he devises a methodology which allows us to predict which types of consonant clusters could occur word-medially in PIE. Thus, a number of previously disconnected phonological rules can now be understood as being part of a conspiracy motivated by violations in syllable structure. Second, he uncovers evidence of morphological influence within the syllable, created by processes such as quantitative ablaut. These advances allow us to view PIE as a synchronic grammar, one which can be described by -- and contribute to -- modern linguistic theory.