Optimality Theory with Lexical Selection needs multiple PRIORITIES: A case study in Welsh allomorphy

Mykel Loren Brinkerhoff


This study illustrates that role of Lexical Selection (Mascaró 2007) in Optimality Theory in accounting for the Welsh definite article's allomorphy. This is in response to the claims made by Hannahs & Tallerman (2006) that OT is unable to account for the behavior and distribution of the definite article. This study addresses three of the points that Hannahs & Tallerman raised which I am calling the grammar problem, the homophony problem, and the allomorph interaction. I show that Lexical Selection is uniquely adapted to account for each of the points concerning the definite article allomorphy. Additionally, this study proposes that Lexical Selection needs to be amended with multiple Priority constraints that are morpheme specific. It also appears that there appears to exist a unique relationship between the constraint rankings of these multiple Priority constraints in what is called the prioritization of the hierarchy.


OT/LS; prioritization; Lexical Selection; Welsh; allomorphy

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.3765/plsa.v4i1.4528

Copyright (c) 2019 Mykel Loren Brinkerhoff

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