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Optimality Theory. Abdullah Khalid Bosaad 刘 畅 Liú Chàng. Optimality Theory. OT in real life; OT in Yawelmani ; The strength of OT. Optimality Theory in real life. How do I group these people ?. Optimality Theory in real life?. What is OT ?.

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Optimality theory

Optimality Theory

Abdullah Khalid Bosaad

刘畅 LiúChàng


Optimality theory1
Optimality Theory

  • OT in real life;

  • OT in Yawelmani;

  • The strength of OT.


Optimality theory in real life
Optimality Theory in real life

  • How do I group these people?



What is ot
What is OT ?

  • an approach in phonological description pioneered by Alan Prince and Paul Smolensky (1993).


The fundamentals of ot
The Fundamentals of OT

The structure:

  • CON (Constraint component)

  • GEN (Generator component)

  • EVAL(Evaluator component)

  • CON : a universal set of constraints.

    • Faithfulness constraints—prohibits difference between input and output.

    • Dep constraint: output depends on input

      • /input/ …{cand1, cand2,…}/buk-z/ {[buks, bugz, bukz… ]}


The fundamentals of ot1
The Fundamentals of OT

  • GEN : a mapping of inputs to every possible output, producing candidates

    • /input/ GEN{cand1, cand2,…}/buk-z/ {[buks, bugz, bukz… ]}

  • EVAL: a method for choosing the best candidate.

    • /input/ GEN{cand1, cand2,…}

      Eval[output]


Ot in yawelmani
OT in Yawelmani:

  • Spoken in California

  • Syllables cannot be bigger than CVC pattern.

    EX: Input /ʔilk-hin/  output=[ ? ]

  • 1. ʔil.k.hin

  • 2. ʔi.lik.hin

  • 3. ʔi.li.ki.hin

  • 4. ʔi.li.ki.hi.ni


Ot in yawelmani1
OT in Yawelmani:

  • Input /ʔilk-hin/GEN{[ cand1,… cand4,… ]}EVALoutput=[ ]

    Candidate set:

  • Can1= ʔil.k.hin

  • Can2= ʔi.lik.hin

  • Can3= ʔi.li.ki.hin

  • Can4= ʔi.li.ki.hi.ni


Ot in yawelmani2

Apply * C unsyll (unsyllabified consonant is ungrammatical)

Apply Dep

Input /ʔilk-hin/

  • Can1= ʔil.k.hin

  • Can2= ʔi.lik.hin

  • Can3= ʔi.li.ki.hin

  • Can4= ʔi.li.ki.hi.ni

  • Favors 2,3,4 over 1 (because [k] is unsyllabified)

  • Favors 1, over 2 over 3 over 4

OT in Yawelmani:


Ot in yawelmani3
OT in Yawelmani:

  • Constraint Hierarchy:

    C unsyll>>Dep

  • Output= Cand2 [ʔi.lik.hin]


The strength of ot
The strength of OT

Yawelmani:

  • Delete a vowel at the end of a word.

    • /taxa-ka/  /ta.xak/, /taxa-mi//ta.xam/

    • V deletion: Vø / VC____#


The strength of ot1
The strength of OT

  • / xat.ka/  ?

    • /xat.ka/? VS /xat.k/?

    • / xat.ka / exists.

    • *C unsyll—prohibits unsyllabified consonants. /xat.k/ is ungrammatical.

    • *V#--end vowel deletion.


The strength of ot2
The strength of OT

  • C unsyll >> V# :C unsyll has a higher priority than V# (C unsyll dominates V#), so / xat.ka/ exist and */ xat.k/ does not.


The strength of ot3
The strength of OT

  • models grammars as systems that provide mappings from inputs to outputs; typically, the inputs are conceived of as underlying representations, and the outputs as their surface realizations.

  • proposes that the observed forms of language arise from the interaction between conflicting constraints.

  • Constraint prioritization ranking is fundamental to OT


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