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Title:The Emergence of the Unmarked: Optimality in Prosodic Morphology
Authors:John J. McCarthy, Alan Prince
Abstract:The Emergence of the Unmarked: Optimality in Prosodic Morphology

John J. McCarthy
UMass Amherst

Alan Prince
Rutgers University

Published (1994) in Mercè Gonzàlez, ed., Proceedings of the North East
Linguistics Society 24, GLSA, Amherst, MA. Pp. 333-379.
French translation (1997) \'L\'émergence du non marqué. L\'optimalité en
morphologie prosodique,\' Langages special issue \'Nouvelles phonologies\',
vol. 125, pp. 55?99. Ed. Bernard Laks, trans. Marc Klein.

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. (Also see ROA-59, ROA-216, and ROA-236.)

Type:Paper/tech report
Area/Keywords:Phonology,Formal Analysis
Article:Version 1