Re: THEORY: OT Syntax (Was: Re: THEORY: phonemes and Optimality Theory tutorial)
|From:||dirk elzinga <dirk.elzinga@...>|
|Date:||Thursday, November 16, 2000, 16:39|
On Wed, 15 Nov 2000, jesse stephen bangs wrote:
> Marcus Smith sikayal:
> > I'll explain by illustration of deriving Wh-questions in English. The
> > basic problem. You have a pair of sentences like:
> > Mary saw a man.
> > Who did Mary see?
> > [snipping excellent description]
> > | WH-initial | Q-head | Stay
> > -> Who did Mary see? | | | **
> > Who Mary did see? | | *! | *
> > Did Mary see who? | *! | | *
> > Mary did see who? | *! | * |
> Huh. One of the first advantages of OT that was touted to me was the lack
> of ordered rules, rule ordering deemed to be unnatural. You obviously do
> have ordered (or ranked) rules, though.
These aren't rules; these are constraints. Constraints are statements
about allowed or disallowed structures, not instructions for changing
one structure to another.
> Does OT make significant claims to be "universal," then?
The founding document (Prince and Smolensky 1993) certainly did. One
of the original claims was that the constraint set was universal; only
constraint ranking is language specific. Later literature has backed
off this claim to allow for universal constraint "schemata", or
patterns which constraints must adhere to. The content of the
constraints is no longer thought to be universal, but their form is.