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Evolutionary Syntax

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This book "outlines novel and testable hypotheses, contains extensive examples from many different languages" and is "presented in accessible language, with more technical discussion in footnotes."

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This book "proposes a new theory of contact-induced grammatical restructuring" and "offers a new analytical approach to New English from a formal or structural perspective."

Academic Paper

Title: Harmonic Grammar with linear programming: from linear systems to linguistic typology
Author: Christopher Potts
Institution: University of Massachusetts at Amherst
Author: Joseph V Pater
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: University of Massachusetts
Author: Karen Jesney
Institution: University of Massachusetts
Author: Rajesh Bhatt
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: University of Texas at Austin
Author: Michael Becker
Institution: Harvard University
Linguistic Field: Phonology
Abstract: Harmonic Grammar is a model of linguistic constraint interaction in which well-formedness is calculated in terms of the sum of weighted constraint violations. We show how linear programming algorithms can be used to determine whether there is a weighting for a set of constraints that fits a set of linguistic data. The associated software package OT-Help provides a practical tool for studying large and complex linguistic systems in the Harmonic Grammar framework and comparing the results with those of OT. We first describe the translation from harmonic grammars to systems solvable by linear programming algorithms. We then develop a Harmonic Grammar analysis of ATR harmony in Lango that is, we argue, superior to the existing OT and rule-based treatments. We further highlight the usefulness of OT-Help, and the analytic power of Harmonic Grammar, with a set of studies of the predictions Harmonic Grammar makes for phonological typology.


This article appears IN Phonology Vol. 27, Issue 1, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .

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