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Input Optimisation: phonology and morphology*

  • Michael Hammond (a1)

In this paper, I provide a unified account of three frequency effects in phonology. First, typologically marked elements are underrepresented. Second, phonological changes are underrepresented. Third, morphologically conditioned phonological changes are overrepresented. These effects are demonstrated with corpus data from English and Welsh. I show how all three effects follow from a simple conception of phonological complexity. Further, I demonstrate how this notion of complexity makes predictions about other phenomena in these languages, and that these predictions are borne out. I model this with traditional Optimality Theory, but the proposal is consistent with any constraint-based formalism that weights constraints in some way.

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Thanks to Adam Albright, Elise Bell, Ricardo Bermúdez-Otero, Amy Fountain, Chris Golston, S. J. Hannahs, Lionel Mathieu, Diane Ohala and Maggie Tallerman for useful discussion. Thanks also to audiences at Manchester and Arizona and to the members of my 2015 Linguistics 514 class. Finally, thanks to three anonymous reviewers, an associate editor and the editors for additional feedback. All errors are my own.

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