|Title:||OT SIMPLE - A construction-kit approach to Optimality Theory implementation|
|Comment:||49pp, A4 size (152-10961); 51pp, letter size (152-10962). The software and paper can also be downloaded from http://www.phil-fak.uni-duesseldorf.de/~walther/otsimple.html. A hardcopy version of this tech report (No.88) is available thru sfb|
|Abstract:||This paper details a simple approach to the implementation
of Optimality Theory (OT, Prince and Smolensky 1993) on a
computer, in part reusing standard system software.
In a nutshell, OT's GENerating source is implemented as a
BinProlog program interpreting a context-free specification
of a GEN structural grammar according to a user-supplied
input form. The resulting set of textually flattened candidate
tree representations is passed to the CONstraint stage.
Constraints are implemented by finite-state transducers
specified as `sed' stream editor scripts that typically map
ill-formed portions of the candidate to violation marks.
EVALuation of candidates reduces to simple sorting: the
violation-mark-annotated output leaving CON is fed into `sort',
which orders candidates on the basis of the violation vector
column of each line, thereby bringing the optimal candidate
to the top. This approach gave rise to OT SIMPLE, the first
freely available software tool for the OT framework to provide
generic facilities for both GEN and CONstraint definition.
Its practical applicability is demonstrated by modelling the OT
analysis of apparent subtractive pluralization in Upper Hessian
presented in Golston and Wiese (1996).