By John J. McCarthy

This ebook describes Optimality idea from the pinnacle down, explaining and exploring the vital premises of OT and the implications that keep on with from them. Examples are drawn from phonology, morphology, and syntax, however the emphasis all through is at the concept instead of the examples, on realizing what's specified approximately OT and on equipping readers to use it, expand it, and critique it of their personal parts of curiosity. The book's assurance extends to paintings on first- and second-language acquisition, phonetics and sensible phonology, computational linguistics, old linguistics, and sociolinguistics. Chapters finish with broad feedback for extra studying, categorised through subject, and are supplemented through a major bibliography (over 800 items).

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This is one possible approach to dissimilation and similar processes. 15C3§15^5 Local conjunction is a powerful idea, but in the long run we also will need limits on which constraints can be combined in this way. 1). Suppose the ranking [Cl » C2, C3] has previously been established. 4). Nevertheless, there are important differences between local conjunction and numerical weighting: conjunction is categorical in its effects, locality is enforced by the domain argument D, and there is some potential for placing limitations on what constraints can be conjoined and in what domains (see the next paragraph).

2). 4 How to Do OT In the previous sections we have looked at OT from the top down: what are its basic premises, and how do they apply to language? Here we look at OT from the bottom up: how should an analyst informed about OT's premises apply it to data, construct novel hypotheses, and generally proceed to explore the theory, critique it, and seek to improve it? This section is less about theory, then, and more about practice; the dicta here are not assumptions or deductions but rules of thumb derived from experience.

How does one proceed to formulate it? The learner is arguably supplied with an innate, universal constraint component CON. 30 But the analyst is in the more difficult position of attempting to determine the contents of CON from indirect clues in the form of linguistic generalizations. 2, 40 Core of Optimality Theory while not providing a comprehensive theory of possible constraints, suggest several heuristics to follow. Descriptive universals rarely make good constraints, but descriptive tendencies often do.

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