Journal or Book Title
Proceedings of the North East Linguistics Society 24
This paper identifies and illustrates a key consequence of Optimality Theory called 'emergence of the unmarked'. In OT, a constraint can be active even if it is crucially dominated. A low-ranking markedness constraint, then, can decide between candidates, as long as they tie on all higher-ranking constraints. The linguistic structure that is unmarked with respect to this constraint can emerge in such circumstances.
This notion is applied to a core problem in the theory of Prosodic Morphology, that of defining templates. The frequently encountered minimal-word template is shown to emerge from markedness constraints on prosodic structure.
McCarthy, John J. and Prince, Alan, "The emergence of the unmarked: Optimality in prosodic morphology" (1994). Proceedings of the North East Linguistics Society 24. 18.
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