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Title:Lexical Phonology and the Lexicon
Authors:James Myers
Comment:97 pp., Word 6 (for Mac) version requires IPAPhon, available at http://www.chass.utoronto.ca:8080/~rogers/fonts.html
Abstract:Lexical Phonology and the Lexicon

James Myers

National Chung Cheng University, Taiwan

This paper develops an Optimality-Theoretic model which views the

knowledge of lexical phonology as essentially identical to knowledge

of the surface forms of whole words listed in a specific lexicon, with

generalizations arising from these words via analogy. This view is

far more consistent with psycholinguistic evidence than standard

generative approaches to lexical phonology, but it has hitherto been

neglected due to two false assumptions: (a) analogy has no important

empirical consequences for phonological theory; (b) analogy cannot be

formalized within a generative approach. This paper refutes both of

these assumptions. First, it is demonstrated that many familiar

patterns of English lexical phonology are best described as emerging

from interactions among specific words, rather than being imposed on

the lexicon by general rules or universal constraints. For example,

vowel shift, vowel shortening, and the Scottish Vowel Length Rule are

shown to interact with irregular inflection in a way that cannot be

handled in standard rule-based or constraint-based approaches, but

can be handled quite intuitively with analogy. Second, it is

demonstrated that analogy can be formalized within OT by simply

combining three devices that are already independently motivated in

the literature: parochial constraints (i.e. universal constraints

parameterized to apply only to specific lexical items), output-output

correspondence, and constraint conjunction. The formalism relies

primarily on Faithfulness to enforce lexical patterns, specifically

forbidding phonetically-motivated markedness constraints from playing

a direct role in lexical phonology.

This claim is supported through novel arguments involving the role of

lexical frequency in lexical phonology, leading to the conclusion that

unmarkedness in lexical phonology arises through Lexicon Optimization

during language acquisition rather than through the high ranking of

markedness constraints in the adult grammar.

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Type:Paper/tech report
Article:Version 1