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Optimality Theory: An Overview (Explaining…

Optimality Theory: An Overview (Explaining Linguistics)

by Diana Archangeli (Editor), D. Terence Langendoen (Editor)

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This is all only based on one chapter, but after the clusterfuck of Kager's Optimality Theory, that one chapter gave me hope. Doug Pulleyblank, besides being an incredibly nice, encouraging man who welcomed a lit asshole like me into the linguistics department at a grad level with open arms, and a lucky dude whos life is all being a cool old hippie and fucking off to Brazil to record the languages of jungle tribes and shit, has produced "Optimality Theory and Features", chapter 3 in this text, and so clear, simple, not simplistic, functional, I'm gonna go ahead and use the computer-dude term and say "robust"--indeed, WHY start chopping your faithfulness constraints up into DEP-IO and LINEARITY-IO and shit when you could just call them FAITH[feature]? Why make it more complicated than it needs to be, until it needs to be that complicated? I have issues with the WAY those constraints are set out too, and it is really gratifying that P-blank casts new light not only on their form but on the very need for their existence. And the same with the markedness constraints--if you're going to use an arbitrary shorthand, it may as well represent the constituents being affected, as OBS/VOI for "obstruents must be voiced" (and confusingly, NAS/VOI for "nasals must not be voiced", but at least there's no way you can go away without knowing it is something about nasals and voicing--as opposed to in Kager; what, e.g., is "VOP"?).

And he goes on like that with laudability and even sort of makes me understand OT in tones, which is weird because I didn't think I was capable of understanding anything about tones. If the whole book is this good, I'm sold, and I wonder why we went with Kager instead. ( )
  MeditationesMartini | May 17, 2009 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Archangeli, DianaEditorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Langendoen, D. TerenceEditormain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0631202269, Paperback)

This volume provides the first general introduction to optimality theory -- arguably the linguistic theory of the 1990s. The book leads the reader to an understanding of optimality theory via the exploration and resolution of specific problems in phonology, morphology, and syntax, but presumes virtually no background knowledge in linguistics.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:38 -0400)

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