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Variation is controlled by the grammar, though indirectly: it follows automatically from the robustness requirement of learning. If every constraint in an Optimality-Theoretic grammar has a ranking value along a continuous scale, and the disharmony of a constraint at evaluation time is randomly distributed about this value, the phenomenon of optionality in(More)
We present a straightforward and robust algorithm for periodicity detection, working in the lag (autocorrelation) domain. When it is tested for periodic signals and for signals with additive noise or jitter, it proves to be several orders of magnitude more accurate than the methods commonly used for speech analysis. This makes our method capable of(More)
The Dutch dialect of Venlo has a lexical tone opposition comparable to the distinction between Accent I and Accent II in Scandinavian. The two word tone patterns are realised in a variety of different ways, depending on the intonation contour, on whether the word has a focus tone, and on whether it occurs finally or nonfinally in the intonational phrase(More)
This paper investigates a gradual on-line learning algorithm for Harmonic Grammar. By adapting existing convergence proofs for perceptrons, we show that for any nonvarying target language, Harmonic-Grammar learners are guaranteed to converge to an appropriate grammar, if they receive complete information about the structure of the learning data. We also(More)
A series of experiments shows that Spanish learners of English acquire the ship-sheep contrast in a way specific to their target dialect (Scottish or Southern British English) and that many learners exhibit a perceptual strategy found in neither Spanish nor English. To account for these facts as well as for the findings of earlier research on second(More)
by the author Variation, preferences, and subregularities can be derived from one and the same grammar if we assume that grammars are partial orderings of vio-lable constraints. This is the claim defended in this dissertation. The argument is based on detailed analyses of the Finnish nominal declension. 1. Free variation The Finnish genitive plural has(More)
This paper reconciles the standpoint that language users do not aim at improving their sound systems with the observation that languages seem to improve their sound systems. If learners optimise their perception by gradually ranking their cue constraints, and reuse the resulting ranking in production, they automatically introduce a PROTOTYPE EFFECT, which(More)
Second-language (L2) speech perception research has identified several patterns in the non-native perception of vowel contrasts. The models that account for non-native perception (Perceptual Assimilation Model, Best 1995; and Speech Learning Model, Flege 1995; for a summary of these and other non-native perception models see introduction in Best, McRoberts(More)