The present monograph introduces a model of Beats-and-Binding phonology (B&B phonology), embedded in the epistemological framework of Natural Linguistics. B&B phonology operates with units called beats (B’s) and relations called bindings. The syllable is epiphenomenal in the B&B approach to phonology and thus at most is a consequence of the operation of the B&B preferences. Universal phonotactic preferences follow directly from the binding preferences and unanimously refer to the
Optimal Sonority Distance Principle. In order to demonstrate the explanatory potential of B&B phonology, a large number of diversified internal, historical and external sources of data are surveyed. Among the external evidence, the following areas are represented: first language acquisition, second language acquisition, aphasia, writing systems, phonostylistics, psycholinguistics and metaphonology, and phonetics. The monograph also contains an overview of the principles of Natural Linguistics, a critical historical review of approaches to the syllable, and a discussion of the epistemological compatibility between preferences and constraints in Natural Linguistics and Optimality Theory.