Besides describing various aspects of a particular level of phonological analysis, this book stresses the various interactions that are necessary to give an integrated and global view of grammatical theory. It thus includes word level phonology as well as phrasal phonology. Given this starting point, the choice of the theory of generative grammar is almost taken for granted: no other contemporary school of grammar has developed the four components of the grammar to the extent that generative grammar has. The motivation that lies under the conception of this volume is that most (of the few) introductions to phonology are based on English or on other Germanic languages. It is important for a student at the beginning level to learn a theory on the basis of data of his own native language, or at least a language related as closely as possible to his own: only in this case can one find examples which may broaden the field of investigation, or counter-examples that may put a certain hypothesis into question. The purpose of this book is, in fact, to introduce the reader to the analysis of language, not only to the knowledge of what previous analysts of language thought. Given that the main public to which the book is addressed consists of Italian students of linguistics, or students of Italian linguistics, the majority of the examples comes from Italian and other romance languages, or languages that are closely related to Italian, at least from a phonological perspective, such as Greek. When necessary, given the nature of a particular phenomenon, other languages are exemplified as well. If translated (and perhaps equipped with some more examples), this book could thus be used also by students of linguistics whose native language is different from Italian. Given the introductory way in which the book is written, it may also be useful to linguists working in other areas or people working in other fields that are related to language, such as psychologists, cognitive scientists, computer scientists, and so on.
a professor of Italian linguistics at the University of Amsterdam
and of General linguistics at the HIL (Dutch Institute of
Greek rights sold.