Optimality Theory: Constraint Interaction in Generative Grammar / Edition 1

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This book is the final version of the widely-circulated 1993 Technical Report that introduces a conception of grammar in which well-formedness is defined as optimality with respect to a ranked set of universal constraints.

  • Final version of the widely circulated 1993 Technical Report that was the seminal work in Optimality Theory, never before available in book format.
  • Serves as an excellent introduction to the principles and practice of Optimality Theory.
  • Offers proposals and analytic commentary that suggest many directions for further development for the professional.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“This is a very important book. Optimality Theory has transformed the field of linguistics more than almost any other development of the past half-century, and Prince and Smolensky started it all.” John J. McCarthy, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

"OT does not need to permanently influence linguistic theory: it has already done so. Between 1993 and 2004, Prince and Smolensky’s Optimality Theory was by far the most widely circulated manuscript among phonologists. Fortunately, it is now available for a larger audience in this text edition." René Kager, Utrecht University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405119320
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 10/4/2004
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 7.05 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Alan Prince is Professor of Linguistics and a member of the Cognitive Science Center at Rutgers University and is, along with Paul Smolensky, one of the founders of Optimality Theory. He has published in journals such as Linguistic Inquiry, Science, Cognition, and Critical Inquiry.

Paul Smolensky is Professor of Cognitive Science at Johns Hopkins University. His publications include Learnability in Optimality Theory (with Bruce Tesar, 2000) and Mathematical Perspectives on Neural Networks (edited with Michael Mozer and David Rumelhart, 1996).

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Table of Contents

1 Preliminaries 1
Pt. I Optimality and constraint interaction 11
2 Optimality in grammar : core syllabification in Imdlawn Tashlhiyt Berber 14
3 Generalization-forms in domination hierarchies I : do something only when : triggering, or the theory of economy 27
4 Generalization-forms in domination hierarchies II : do something except when : blocking, or the theory of profuseness 39
5 The construction of grammar in optimality theory 80
Pt. II Syllable theory 101
6 Syllable structure typology : the CV theory 105
7 Constraint interaction in Lardil phonology 119
8 Universal syllable theory : ordinal construction of C/V and onset/coda licensing asymmetry 150
Pt. III Issues and answers in optimality theory 203
9 Inventory theory and the lexicon 207
10 Foundational issues and theory-comparisons 232
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