Ask-A-Linguist Message Details
|Subject:||what is emergence of the unmarked|
I was at a dinner party a few days ago and someone made
a joke with the emergence of the unmarked and everyone
laughed but as I am not a linguist, I didn't understand. I
tried to look it up on-line (on sites like Wikipedia) but it
was still over my head. Will you help me please?
"Unmarked" in some contexts means "default" or expected. Unmarked items are
frequent within one language and frequent across the world's languages; An unmarked
5-vowel system would be i e a o u. A marked vowel system might be æ a ö,u, ū. IN
Optimality Theory surface forms (what's actually pronounced) are derived via a
competition among constraints. It is a tenet of OT that the competition among
constraints results in a form that is relatively unmarked.
Did anyone laugh at the joke?
|Reply From:||Susan D Fischer click here to access email|