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Title:Optimality Theoretic Rankings with Tied Constraints: Slavic Relatives, Resumptive Pronouns and Learnability
Authors:Kevin Broihier
Abstract: Optimality Theoretic Rankings with Tied Constraints:

Slavic Relatives, Resumptive Pronouns and Learnability


slavrc.ps, --.rtf

Kevin Broihier


MIT, February 1995

Using the formal machinery of Optimality Theory (Prince and Smolensky,

1993), Pesetsky (cf. his submission to the Rutgers archive) analyzes

and explains the the conditions under which syntactic elements that

interact with the CP systems of French and English receive overt

phonological realization. This paper extends Pesetsky's results in

two ways.

First, I argue that the constraint set and augmented OT apparatus that

Pesetsky develops combine, almost directly, to yield an account of an

interesting interaction in Polish relative clauses between the

morphologically invariant element 'co' and a set of elements that I'll

analyze as resumptive pronouns. Given this analysis of Polish, a

number of properties of Russian relative clauses also fall out of the

typology inherent in Pesetsky's system.

Second, I address a gap in the theory of the learnability of OT

systems that Pesetsky's addition of the notion of ties creates. From

his analysis of English and French syntax, Pesetsky provides an

argument for relaxing the requirement that all constraints in his

system be ordered in a strict dominance hierarchy. He also provides a

procedure for computing the optimal candidates in tableaux with tied

constraints. The only explicitly proposed general algorithm for

acquiring language-specific orderings of universal OT constraints

(Tesar & Smolensky, 1993), however, is not equipped to deal with

target languages that require tied constraints. Since, my analysis,

like Pesetsky's, requires tied constraints, I consider several

possible extensions of the Tesar and Smolensky algorithm that will

handle these cases.

Type:Paper/tech report
Article:Version 1