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Optimality Theoretic Syntax, Semantics, and Pragmatics

Optimality Theoretic Syntax, Semantics, and Pragmatics


International Edition

About the Book

This book investigates the morphosyntactic, semantic, and pragmatic properties of language, and the interactions between them, from the perspective of Optimality Theory. It integrates optimization processes into the formal and functional study of grammar, interpreting optimization as the result of conflicting, violable ranked constraints.

Unlike previous work on the topic, this book also takes into account the question of directionality of grammar. A model of grammar in which optimization processes interact bidirectionally allows both language generation-the process of selecting the optimal form of a given meaning-and language interpretation-the process of optimal interpretation of a given form-to be taken into account. Chapters in this volume explore the consequences of both symmetric (unidirectional) and asymmetric (bidirectional) versions of Optimality Theory, investigating the syntax-semantics interface, first language acquisition, and sequential bilingual grammars.

The volume presents cutting edge research in Optimality-Theoretic syntax and semantics, as well as demonstrating how optimization processes as modelled in this formalism serve as a viable approach for linguists and scholars in related fields.

About the Author:
Geraldine Legendre is Professor of Linguistics and Cognitive Science at Johns Hopkins University. She co-developed, with Paul Smolensky, the soft constraint-based precursor to Optimality Theory and has played a major role in the development of OT in syntax since the early 1990s, focussing particularly on comparative studies of phenomena in syntax and at the syntax-semantics interface and on the modelling of early child syntax and code-switching. She is co-author of The Harmonic Mind (with Paul Smolensky; MIT Press, 2006) and co-editor of Optimality-Theoretic Syntax (with Jane Grimshaw and Sten Vikner; MIT Press, 2001).

Michael T. Putnam is Associate Professor of German and Linguistics at Penn State University. His work focuses on gaining a better understanding of the cognitive architecture underlying the language faculty at the intersection of culture, grammar, and performance biases, and he has published widely on comparative Germanic linguistics, the morphosyntax-semantics interface, and bilingualism. He is the author of The Structural Design of Language (with Thomas S. Stroik; CUP, 2013) and editor of Studies in German-Language Islands (Benjamins, 2011).

Henriette de Swart is Professor of French Linguistics and Semantics at Utrecht University. Her research is concerned with cross-linguistic variation at the syntax-semantics-pragmatic interface, looking specifically at tense and aspect, negation, indefinites, genericity, and bare nominals. Her publications include Introduction to Natural Language Semantics (University of Chicago Press, 1998), The Semantics of Incorporation (with Donka Farkas; CSLI, 2003), and Conflicts in Interpretation (with Petra Hendriks, Helen de Hoop, and Irene Kramer; Equinox, 2010).

Erin Zaroukian is a postdoctoral fellow in the Human Research and Engineering Directorate of the US Army Research Laboratory, where her primary research is in human-computer collaboration. Her PhD work focused on formal semantics of approximation and hedging, which she continued, with an experimental focus, as a postdoctoral researcher in the Laboratoire de Sciences Cognitives et Psycholinguistique (Ecole Normale Superieure, PSL Research University, CNRS).

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Product Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780198808954
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publisher Imprint: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Height: 231 mm
  • No of Pages: 384
  • Series Title: Oxford Studies in Theoretical Linguistics
  • Sub Title: From Uni- To Bidirectional Optimization
  • Width: 152 mm
  • ISBN-10: 019880895X
  • Publisher Date: 15 May 2018
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Language: English
  • Returnable: Y
  • Spine Width: 23 mm
  • Weight: 572 gr

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