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Title:Optimization in Argument Expression and Interpretation: A Unified Approach
Authors:Hanjung Lee
Comment:Stanford University Ph.D. dissertation
Abstract:This dissertation investigates fixed word order phenomena in 'free'
word order languages and their consequences for linguistic theory. As
has long been observed, languages with flexible word order, in certain
circumstances, show 'freezing' effects, whereby only a canonical word
order is possible. I propose new generalizations to explain the two types
of freezing effects, namely markedness reduction in marked grammatical
contexts and the emergence of the unmarked, and show that these
pervasive patterns of markedness are incompatible with the classical
conception of grammar within generative linguistics where principles of
universal grammar (UG) are both universal and inviolable.

The analysis I develop here, set within the framework of
Optimality-theoretic Lexical-Functional Grammar, captures the
universal basis of word order freezing and its parallels to markedness
reduction and emergence of the unmarked effects observed in other
systems for argument expressions and in other components of grammar,
while at the same time allowing for crosslinguistic variation.

The first part of the dissertation shows how the Optimality-theoretic
account, based on the interaction between markedness constraints
derived through harmonic alignment of prominence hierarchies and other
constraints on word order, naturally captures the pattern of universal
markedness and the basic generalization that highly marked argument
types occur only in unmarked position in Hindi and Korean: in these
two languages, noncanonical orderings are preferred options for marking a
special information structure. However, in the special case of prominence
mismatch, they are replaced by the less marked, canonical order. This
is due to the ranking in which the markedness constraints banning marked
argument types in the marked positions dominate the information structuring
constraints which favor realization of contrasting discourse prominence of
arguments. Beyond providing a specific analysis for the freezing
effects in Hindi and Korean, I show how the constraint system I
develop can be employed to explain markedness reduction in the systems
of contrast in other domains of morphosyntax.

In the second part, the model is extended to comprehension as well as
production, demonstrating further advantages of the optimization-based
approach to argument expression. It is shown that by defining
grammaticality in terms of bidirectional optimization, we can account
for the word order freezing effect as the emergence of the unmarked in
comprehension grammar, in terms of the same set of markedness and
faithfulness constraints that are independently motivated for a
production-based optimization account of case patterns and constituent

Along with other optimization-based approaches to morphosyntax, the
present study contributes solid evidence for fundamental structural
parallels between phonology and syntax, and raises questions whether the
arbitrary separation of linguistic phenomena and performance-related
phenomena has any systematic theoretical and empirical significance.

1. Introduction
1.1 Overview
1.2 Markedness
1.3 Topics of the Dissertation
1.4 The Formal Framework
1.5 Data and Sources
1.6 Organization

2. Markedness Reduction in Word Order
2.1 Word Order Freezing in Hindi and Korean
2.2 Deriving Free Word Order in OT-LFG
2.3 Markedness Reduction in Word Order in Hindi
2.4 Markedness Reduction in Word Order in Korean
2.5 Summary and Implications

3. Bidirectional Optimality, Word Order and Recoverability
3.1 Case Marking and Word Order Flexibility
3.2 Interaction of Case and Word Order in a Unidirectional OT
3.3 Bidirectional Optimization and Word Order Freezing
3.4 Recovery of Marked Interpretation
3.5 Conclusion

4. Conclusion
Article:Version 1