The Prosodic Word (Pwd) is a foundational notion in phonological theories, being relevant for the statement of many phonological generalizations. In spite of this importance, basic open questions remain about prosodic words. How many distinct prosodic categories, even at the ‘word’ level, are available to languages? Are they innately determined or emergent? Can their structure in one language vs. another be predicted? In this paper I consider a research program that attempts to address such questions by viewing prosodic words as emergent over time from the interaction of phonetics, phonologization, and syntactic structure. An important bridging idea in this understanding of prosodic words is that of domain generalization.
[Note: preliminary work, one case study concerning the Russian prosodic word.]