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Title:Brief history of the concept of constraint in Generative Phonology
Authors:Edoardo Cavirani
Abstract:Starting from the statement in the first page of Prince and Smolensky (1993[2004]), I tried to make explicit the path "by which 'conditions' on well-formedness start out as a peripheral annotations ... and ... end up as the central object of linguistic study". In order to accomplish this historiographical tour I traced back the most significant appearances of theoretical devices functionally similar to 'constraints', paying attention to prominent works produced in the generative phonology framework:
- Wells, R., (1949), "Automatic Alternations", in Language, 25, pp. 99-116.
- Halle, M., (1959), The Sound Patterns of Russian, The Hague, Mouton de Gruyter.
- Stanley, R., (1967), "Redundancy Rules in Phonology", in Language, 43, pp. 393-436.
- Chomsky and Halle, (1968), The sound pattern of English, New York, Harper and Row.
- Kisseberth, C., (1970), "On the Functional Unity of Phonological Rules", in Linguistic Inquiry, 1, pp. 291-306.
- Shibatani, M., (1973), "The Role of Surface Phonetic Constraints in Generative Phonology", in Language, 49, pp. 87-106.
- Goldsmith, J., (1976 [1979]), Autosegmental Phonology, New York, Garland Publishing.
- Singh, R., (1987), "Well-formedness Conditions and Phonological Theory", in Dressler et al. (ed.), Phonologica 1984, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
- Paradis, C., (1988), "On Constraints and Repair Strategies", The Linguistic Review, 6, pp. 71-97.
- Scobbie, Coleman and Bird, (1996), "Key Aspects of Declarative Phonology", in Durand and Laks (eds.), Current Trends in Phonology: Models and Methods, 2, European Studies Research Institute (ESRI), Salford, Manchester, UK, pp. 685-709.
- Smolensky, P., (1986), "Information processing in dynamical systems: Foundations of harmony theory", in Rumelhart, McClelland and PDP Research Group (eds.), Parallel Distributed Processing: Explorations in the Microstructure of Cognition, Cambridge, MA, Bradford Books/MIT Press, pp. 194-281.
- Prince and Smolensky, (1993 [2004]), Optimality Theory: Constraint Interaction in Generative Grammar, Blackwell Publishers.
Particular attention has been devoted to contexts and motivations that fostered the increasingly use of the 'constraint' and the improvement of its formalization, in order to better comprehend where this device come from and how it dethroned the 'rule' becoming the keystone of contemporary generative phonology architecture.
Type:Paper/tech report
Area/Keywords:Phonology, History of Phonology, Constraints
Article:Version 1