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Phonological typology in Optimality Theory and Formal Language Theory: goals and future directions

  • Joe Pater (a1)

Abstract

Much recent work has studied phonological typology in terms of Formal Language Theory (e.g. the Chomsky hierarchy). This paper considers whether Optimality Theory grammars might be constrained to generate only regular languages, and also whether the tools of formal language theory might be used for constructing phonological theories similar to those within Optimality Theory. It offers reasons to be optimistic about the first possibility, and sceptical about the second.

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Thank you to the Spring 2019 UMass Amherst Sound Workshop for discussion, especially to Andrew Lamont, who also provided comments on a draft of this manuscript. This research was supported by NSF grants BCS-1424077 and BCS-1650957 to the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

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References

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