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Title:OT SIMPLE - A construction-kit approach to Optimality Theory implementation
Authors:Markus Walther
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).
Type:Paper/tech report
Article:Version 1