Tone Association and Output Locality in Non-Linear Structures

Nate Koser, Chris Oakden, Adam Jardine


This paper offers a computational characterization of tone-to-TBU association processes using a restricted least-fixed point logic. Crucially, least fixed point logics allow recursive definitions which capture output-oriented processes. The added requirement that these definitions are quantifier-free ensures that they are inherently local, a restriction that is well-motivated for phonological processes in general. The typology developed here distinguishes between possible and impossible tone mappings, capturing a wider range of attested tone mappings (left-to-right, right-to-left, edge-in, quality-sensitive) than previous rule-based or optimization approaches, while also explaining why certain unattested mapping patterns (for example center-out association) are impossible. This thus represents a strong first approximation of a definition for output-based local functions over non-linear structures


Tone Association; Output Locality; Model Theory

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Copyright (c) 2019 Nate Koser, Chris Oakden, Adam Jardine