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Optimality-Theoretic Syntax, Semantics, and PragmaticsFrom Uni- to Bidirectional Optimization$
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Géraldine Legendre, Michael T. Putnam, Henriëtte de Swart, and Erin Zaroukian

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198757115

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198757115.001.0001

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Intersecting constraints: Why certain constraint-types overlap while others don’t

Intersecting constraints: Why certain constraint-types overlap while others don’t

(p.35) 2 Intersecting constraints: Why certain constraint-types overlap while others don’t
Optimality-Theoretic Syntax, Semantics, and Pragmatics

Marc van Oostendorp

Michael T. Putnam

Laura Catharine Smith

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents further arguments in favor of the claim that all computation happens at the same time, demonstrating that such a parallel architecture of human grammar is optimal in design when compared with modular alternatives. A logical consequence is that models that advance a parallel architecture of grammar seem inherently easier to implement in the analysis of syntax–phonology interface phenomena than analyses couched within some version of the derivational inverted T-model. Some level of modularity, which is not explicitly required in such a model of the grammar, is also derived: syntactic and phonological constraints are at least potentially interspersed in the same grammar. It is argued that both consequences are desirable and allow us to derive certain crucial properties of the phonology–syntax “interface”: in particular the fact that both “modules” can see the constituent structure of the other, but for the most part, not its (featural) content.

Keywords:   syntax–phonology interface, constraint families, constraint well-formedness, parallel architecture, prosody

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