Philippe Martin. – The structure of spoken language : Intonation in Romance. – Cambridge : Cambridge Universtity Press, 2015. – 206 p.
Using an innovative approach, this book focuses on a widely debated area of phonetics and phonology: intonation, and specifically its relation to metrics, its interface with syntax, and whether it can be attributed more to phonetics or phonology, or equally to both. Drawing on data from six Romance languages (French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan and Romanian), whose rich intonation patterns have long been of interest to linguists, J-Philippe Martin challenges the assumptions of traditional phonological approaches, and re-evaluates the data in favour of a new usage-based model of intonation. He proposes a unified description of the sentence prosodic structure, focusing on the dynamic and cognitive aspects of both production and perception of intonation in speech, leading to a unified grammar of Romance languages' sentence intonation. This book will be welcomed by researchers and advanced students in phonetics and phonology.