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Chapter Summary

This introductory chapter of the book approaches the study of the syllable with theoretical, empirical and methodological heterogeneity as its guiding principle. The chapter is divided into two parts, in the first of which gives a short overview of the history of the syllable in the language sciences, especially through the advent of generative phonology. There are two reasons for emphasizing pre-generative approaches to the syllable; one is to counter an arrogant tendency to neglect the insights of the founders of the field, whose methods and results continue to inform one. The other is to make it clear that, although one has made progress in phonetics and phonology, there is a tendency to keep reinventing the wheel. The last part of the introductory chapter gives a brief overview of the chapters in the book.

Keywords: phonetics; phonology; syllable



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