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Title:Boolean Operations and Constraint Interaction in Optimality Theory
Authors:Megan Crowhurst, Mark Hewitt
Abstract:Boolean Operations and Constraint Interactions in Optimality Theory

Megan Crowhurst

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Mark Hewitt

Brandeis University

This paper develops a theory of constraint interactions in which the

requirements of two or more individual constraints are co-ordinated

as a unit, or macro-constraint. Macro-constraints are required to

account for certain types of phonological dependency; specifically,

cases in which a complex linguistic pattern is co-conditioned by

multiple factors. We examine examples of such patterns in Diyari,

Zezuru Shona, Dongolese Nubian, and Bolivian Guarani and show that

an analysis which appeals to macro-constraints predicts attested

outputs under otherwise standard assumptions concerning the

evaluation of interacting constraints in OT. The behaviour of

macro-constraints in restricting phonological behaviour reveals

intriguing parallels with operations of conjunction, disjunction,

and implication familiar from classical (or Boolean) logic. The

analogy with logic is developed extensively, focussing on the

operation of conjunction, and on differences between conjunction and

implication. Finally, we show that the behaviours of constraints

interacting under co-ordination bring into sharper focus subtle EVAL

effects which do not emerge when constraints are not co-ordinated,

with implications for the treatment of candidates and our

understanding of constraint evaluation more generally.

(In review, Natural Language and Linguistic Theory.)
Type:Paper/tech report
Article:Version 1