By John J. McCarthy
This booklet describes Optimality idea from the pinnacle down, explaining and exploring the important premises of OT and the consequences that stick to from them. Examples are drawn from phonology, morphology, and syntax, however the emphasis all through is at the conception instead of the examples, on knowing what's distinct approximately OT and on equipping readers to use it, expand it, and critique it of their personal components of curiosity. The book's assurance extends to paintings on first- and second-language acquisition, phonetics and sensible phonology, computational linguistics, historic linguistics, and sociolinguistics. Chapters finish with broad feedback for additional studying, labeled by way of subject, and are supplemented through an enormous bibliography (over 800 items).
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Additional resources for A Thematic Guide to Optimality Theory (Research Surveys in Linguistics)
Might seem wordy, but they are admirably explicit. Another heuristic is to avoid slipping bits and pieces of EVAL into constraint definitions. For example, constraints should not make overt comparisons, since EVAL already has that job well in hand. " Constraints prohibit or demand; they do not urge, cajole, or suggest.
The word "constraint" itself is another source of terminological ambiguity. The constraints of more familiar theories are inviolable, whereas OT constraints can be violated under duress. It is tempting to import the inviolable constraints of other theories into CON, but this temptation should be resisted. The inviolable constraints of other theories are intended to state universals of human language; the violable constraints of OT do not state universals of human language, precisely because they are violable.
The ranking argument must be checked in the context of the full analysis. Suppose there is a tentative argument for [Cl » C2] based on comparing Candwinner with CandLoser. 4 How to Do OT 31 tions: it is ranked above C2, and it concurs with Cl by assigning fewer violation-marks to Candwinner than CandLoser. If C3 with these properties exists, then the ranking argument for |C1 » C2] is not valid. In real life, the first two conditions for a valid ranking argument are of constant applicability, whereas the third turns out to be a problem only once in a while.
A Thematic Guide to Optimality Theory (Research Surveys in Linguistics) by John J. McCarthy