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Title:Learning covert phonological interaction: an analysis of the problem posed by the interaction of stress and epenthesis
Authors:John Alderete, Bruce Tesar
Comment:Report no. RuCCS-TR-72, Piscataway, NJ: Rutgers Center for Cognitive Science
Abstract:The purpose of this report is to contribute to formal
learning theory in Optimality Theory by providing an
analysis of the problem posed by covert phonological
interaction. Building on standard theories of syllable
structure and metrical stress, we analyze a typological
system in which regular processes of epenthesis interact
in non-transparent ways with metrical stress. The nature
of this interaction, which implies several complex
learning decisions, is shown to support the following
conclusions relevant to general mechanisms of language

1. A process of lexical acquisition in which surface
phonological structure is directly incorporated into
the lexicon (sometimes called 'the identity map') leads
to a state in which the learner is committed to a grammar
that over-generates.

2. Acquisition of some aspects of a lexical representation
(LR) may take place in the absence of morpho-phonemic
alternations; acquisition of LRs that are not identical
to the surface form is necessary to solve the over-
generation problem.

3. Over-generation problems may arise in learning from
constraint interactions that are distinct from those that
exist among faithfulness constraints that stand in a
special/general relation.
Type:Paper/tech report
Area/Keywords:Phonology, Learnability
Article:Version 1