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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)
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)
We will show that the Gradual Constraint-Ranking Learning Algorithm is capable of modelling attested acquisition orders and learning curves in a realistic manner, thus bridging the gap that used to exist between formal computational learning algorithms and actual acquisition data. Levelt, Schiller, and Levelt (to appear) found that the acquisition order for(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 article shows that the usual speaker-based account of h-aspiré in French can explain at most three of the four phonological processes in which it is involved, whereas a listener-oriented account can explain all of them. On a descriptive level, the behaviour of h-aspiré is accounted for with a grammar model that involves a control loop, whose crucial(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)