Author Topic: Optimality Theory  (Read 3138 times)

Offline sieledorothy

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Optimality Theory
« on: October 29, 2014, 12:13:33 AM »
Hello phoneticians!
What are the latest models of Optimality Theory (Prince and Smolensky, 2003)
I would like to use it to study vowel/consonant epenthesis in my native language.
Thanks
 ;D ;D ;D

Offline MalFet

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Re: Optimality Theory
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2014, 12:28:45 AM »
Hello,

I'm not quite sure what you mean by latest. Optimality Theory is still actively developed and researched. It's kind of its own latest model. Is there something in particular about vanilla OT that you'd like to see done differently?

Offline sieledorothy

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Re: Optimality Theory
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2014, 12:36:34 AM »
Well, I thought so too. But one of my supervisor's comment was 'Look for more current models of OT'

Offline MalFet

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Re: Optimality Theory
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2014, 12:41:20 AM »
Perhaps he/she meant "more current models than OT"?

Work critical of OT tends to take a strong interest in phonetics. You might look at one of the flavors of panchronic phonology, for example.

Offline sieledorothy

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Re: Optimality Theory
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2014, 03:12:27 AM »
It could be because I indicated OT (Prince and Smolensky, 1993). Bet there are latest additions to it? Any beyond 2003?

Offline MalFet

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Re: Optimality Theory
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2014, 03:49:27 AM »
It's not really the kind of thing to have additions. People have been writing about Optimality for multiple decades now. Many people have proposed alternatives, others have proposed ways within OT to deal with specific problems like opacity. Have you tried doing a google scholar search? If you're just looking for recent work in a theory, you might find something that interests you there. For the moment, though, I'm still not quite clear on what you're looking for.

Offline zaba

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Re: Optimality Theory
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2014, 05:46:01 AM »
OT was first proposed by P&S, as you indicated -- but it comes in various flavors. Some more suitable than others for certain issues, but the framework is basically the same.

Offline Daniel

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Re: Optimality Theory
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2014, 08:42:52 AM »
OT is a framework that actually has nothing to do with phonology specifically.

Here's an example:
http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=1129

In that sense, OT hasn't changed in the last 20 years. On the other hand, the specific constraints that are implemented and whether they are universal or language specific is an issue of debate and different proposals suggest different details.

OT isn't my area, but I think this may be more along the lines of what sieledorothy is asking about.

More specific questions:
"Which constraints should I include?"
"Which constraints best account for what?"
"Where do these constraints come from?"

So in this sense, OT isn't so much a theory but a family of theories. I'm not sure it's even falsifiable, given that you can just try out different constraints infinitely. (You might find some way to suggest that, in general, constraints aren't violable, for example, but I'm not sure how exactly you could do that.)
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Offline sieledorothy

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Re: Optimality Theory
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2014, 10:35:16 PM »
Thank you all for your ideas. Let me do more reading, will consult should I get stuck. And djr33 that's an interesting approach to OT on that link.