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2004 iii ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS When I met Ed Stabler I was electrified by the types questions that he was asking of linguistic theories and even more so by the fact that he seemed to have an idea of how to answer those questions. Without his insight and generous assistance this dissertation would not have been written. I have also been extremely lucky to have(More)
A phonological or morphophonological process is optional if it need not apply to every instance of its structural description. For example, French has an optional process that deletes schwa in the context V(#)C___ (Dell 1970). Application of this process to an input such as /a! vi#d!#t!#bat"/ (tu as) envie de te battre '(you) feel like fighting' results in(More)
This paper provides a brief algebraic characterization of constraint violations in Optimality Theory (OT). I show that if violations are taken to be multisets over a fixed basis set Con then the merge operator on multisets and a 'min' operation expressed in terms of harmonic inequality provide a semiring over violation profiles. This semiring allows(More)
Information theoretic approaches to phonological structure: the case of Finnish vowel harmony Abstract This paper offers a study of vowel harmony in Finnish as an example of how information theoretic concepts can be employed in order to better understand the nature of phono-logical structure. The probability assigned by a phonological model to corpus is(More)