Optimality Theory: Phonology, Syntax, and Acquisition

Paperback | September 1, 2000

EditorJoost Dekkers, Frank van der Leeuw, Jeroen Van De Weijer

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The introduction of Optimality Theory (OT) by Prince and Smolenski in 1995 is frequently seen as the most important development in generative grammar of the 1990s. It has profoundly changed the understanding of sound systems; it has given a new impetus to the study of language acqusition; andits potential for the discovery and explanation of the universal properties of language is increasingly recognized. OT subsitutes constraints for rules in universal grammar and linguistic performance. Constraints are ranked so that a a lower-ranked constraint may be violated in order to satisfy ahigher. The assumption that constraints are vioable can be considered as the formal correlate of linguistic tendencies, whereas their ranking expresses the degree to which individual languages exhibit these tendencies. OT may thus be used to describe the characteristics of any language, but it is as yet too general to provide a substantive theory of grammar. In this book a range of scholars consider the specific properties that an OT grammar should have. After an extensive introduction, the volume is divided intofour parts. Parts One and Two are concerned respectively with prosodic representations and segmental phonology. Parts Three and Four then consider the application of OT to syntax and syntatic theory and to language acquistion and learnability. This wide-ranging collection of new work by leading scholars from the USA and Europe will interest linguists and postgraduate students in all the main fields of discipline. Its insights and the research it reports will also be valuable to those whose theoretical position is apparently at odds withthe principles of OT.

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The introduction of Optimality Theory (OT) by Prince and Smolenski in 1995 is frequently seen as the most important development in generative grammar of the 1990s. It has profoundly changed the understanding of sound systems; it has given a new impetus to the study of language acqusition; andits potential for the discovery and explanat...

Joost Dekkers is at University of Amsterdam, and affiliated with the Holland Institute of Generative Linguistics. Frank van der Leeuw is at University of Amsterdam.

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Format:PaperbackPublished:September 1, 2000Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198238444

ISBN - 13:9780198238447

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Table of Contents

IntroductionPaul Boersma, Joost Dekkers, and Jeroen van de Weijer: Optimality Theory: Phonology, Syntax, and AcquisitionPart Ia: Phonology - Prosodic RepresentationsLuigi Burzio: Cycles, Non-Derived-Environment Blocking and CorrespondenceBruce Hayes: Gradient Well-Formedness in Optimality TheoryRene Kager: Stem Stress and Peak Correspondence in DutchJohn McCarthy: Faithfulness and Prosodic CircumscriptionPart Ib: Phonology - Segmental PhonologyHaike Jacobs and Carlos Gussenhoven: Loan Phonology: Perception, Salience, the Lexicon, and OTDarlene LaCharite and Carole Paradis: Derivational Residue: Hidden Rules in OTNorval Smith: Dependency Theory Meets OT: A Proposal for a New Approach to Segmental StructurePart II: SyntaxPeter Ackema and Ad Neeleman: Absolute UngrammaticalityStephen R. Anderson: Toward an Optimal Account of Second Position PhenomenaJoan Bresnan: Optimal SyntaxHans Broekhuis and Joost Dekkers: Minimalism and OT: Derivations and FiltersGeraldine Legendre: Morphological and Prosodic Alignment of Bulgarian CliticsPart III: The Acquisition of Syntax and PhonologyPaul Boersma: Learning a Grammar in Functional PhonologyMark Ellison: The Universal Constraint Set: Convention not FactDouglas Pulleyblank and William Turkel: Learning Phonology: Genetic Algorithms and Yoruba Tongue Root HarmonyBruce Tesar: Optimality and Strict Domination in Language Learning