Laura Wilbur Mcgarrity
Speech sounds, mechanism of their production, and structuring of sounds in languages; generative view of phonology; autosegmental and metrical phonology. Prerequisite: LING 451.
With standard rule-based derivational theories as a point of comparison, this course introduces the basic principles and workings of Optimality Theory (a constraint-based approach to phonology). The focus will be on formal and empirical differences with the intent of revealing new insights about phonology. Some of the optimality theoretic topics to be considered will include: richness of the base, generalized alignment, local conjunction, sympathy, output-to-output correspondence, and positional faithfulness (vs. positional markedness). Readings will be drawn from the textbook and supplemental articles to illustrate theoretical constructs and argumentation. Students are expected to define one or more phonological problems in a final research paper formulated within an optimality theoretic framework. This paper and its associated feedback are intended to develop writing and argumentation skills in this new theoretical framework. Students will also be afforded experience in giving a professional-style oral presentation of their final research paper.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Class assignments and grading
A series of short homework assignments will test students' knowledge of and ensure their understanding of the course material. There will also be a final paper and oral presentation of a phonological problem analyzed within an Optimality Theoretic framework.