|Title:||Harmonic Serialism and Harmonic Parallelism|
|Authors:||John J. McCarthy|
|Comment:||24pp. Paper to appear in NELS 30 proceedings. (Replaces handout previously archived.)|
|Abstract:||Harmonic Serialism and Parallelism
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
The most familiar architecture for Optimality Theory is a fully parallel
one, meaning that "all possible ultimate outputs are contemplated at
once" (Prince and Smolensky 1993: 79). But Prince and Smolensky also
briefly entertain a serial architecture for OT, called Harmonic Serialism.
The idea is that Gen Eval iterates, sending the output of Eval back into
Gen as a new input. This loop continues until the derivation converges
(i.e., until Eval returns the same form as the input to Gen). There are
clear resemblances between this approach and theories based on notions
like derivational economy (e.g., Chomsky 1995). There is also a connection
with serial rule-based phonology. In the implementation of Harmonic
Serialism that Prince and Smolensky consider, each iteration of Gen is
limited to making a single change in the input. The resulting derivation
is quite similar to what rule-based phonology produces, if each rule is
limited to the form A B/C__D, where A is a single segment.
Apart from chapter 2 of Prince and Smolensky (1993), Harmonic Serialism
has not figured very prominently in the literature, though with
significant additional enhancements it has been used as a vehicle for
incorporating rules into OT by Black (1993) and Blevins (1997).
In this talk, I will look closely at Harmonic Serialism (without the
enhancements). I will distinguish it from parallel OT and from other
serial constraint-based theories such as Harmonic Phonology or "Stratal"
OT. My goal is to develop a range of predictions made by Harmonic
Serialism, under varying implementational assumptions, for phenomena
that have been regarded as typical effects of serial derivation, such as
phonological opacity. A key finding is that Harmonic Serialism doesn't
improve much on classic parallel OT in analyzing opacity, and in certain
other respects does significantly worse.
Black, H. Andrew (1993). Constraint-Ranked Derivation: A Serial Approach
to Optimization. PhD dissertation, University of California, Santa
Blevins, Juliette (1997). Rules in Optimality Theory. In I. Roca (ed.)
Derivations and Constraints in Phonology. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Chomsky, Noam (1995). The Minimalist Program. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Prince, Alan, and Paul Smolensky (1993). Optimality Theory: Constraint
interaction in generative grammar, Rutgers University, New Brunswick,
NJ. Report RUCCS TR-2. [To appear, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.]