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Title:Computing Optimal Forms in Optimality Theory: Basic Syllabification
Authors:Bruce Tesar
Abstract: Computing Optimal Forms in Optimality Theory: Basic Syllabification


Bruce Tesar

(Rutgers University


February 1995

In Optimality Theory, grammaticality is defined in terms of optimization

over a large (often infinite) space of candidates. This raises the

question of how grammatical forms might be computed. This paper

presents an analysis of the Basic CV Syllable Theory (Prince &

Smolensky 1993) showing that, despite the nature of the formal

definition, computing the optimal form does not require explicitly

generating and evaluating all possible candidates. A specific algorithm is

detailed which computes the optimal form in time that is linear in the

length of the input. This algorithm will work for any grammar in

Optimality Theory employing regular position structures and universal

constraints which may be evaluated on the basis of local information.

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Type:Paper/tech report
Article:Version 1