Recourse of Syntax to Phonology
Keywords:Pause, Phonology, Syntactic Ambiguity, Syntactic Complexity, Morphological and Syntactic Categories, Intonation, Timing.
The objective of this paper is to demonstrate that pause as a prosodic (phonological) phenomenon, is not dependent on syntax, nor is it one of the byproducts thereof, as claimed in generative phonology. In order to argue for the recourse of syntax to the pause and reorganization of speech to be complete and significant, the author draws on a language heritage provided by grammarians, interpretation specialists and purists, on the one hand, and a linguistic heritage undermined by the predominant theories in the linguistic landscape. The paper focuses on two phenomena: the role of pause in disambiguating syntactic chunks, and as a catalyst for establishing syntactic structures. Prosodic phonological theory has been adopted in this regard, as it has been developed within the generative paradigm. The paper concludes that pause is a structuring and guiding component of speech. Hence, it is not a superficial phenomenon, rather a catalyst for establishing speech, on equal footing with syntax in this regard. The dominating status of syntax seems less valid, overshadowed by the synergy of the components of grammar (phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics and pragmatics) to produce speech chunks that ensure and preserve communication.