Directionality effects via distance-based penalty scaling

Sharon Inkelas, Eric Wilbanks


In this paper we develop a new proposal for distance-based penalty scaling in Optimality-theoretic analyses, including Harmonic Grammar. We apply this technique to the analysis of two phonological phenomena, both of which have posed challenges to implementation using standard constraint-based methods: directionality effects and bounded domain windows. In the analysis of directionality, we demonstrate how our approach can model challenge directional harmony by applying distance-based penalty scaling in the analysis of Ngore-Kiga sibilant harmony. We then extend our analysis to capture "opposite-edge" effects such as Japanese mimetic palatalization and Selkup stress assignment. Finally, we illustrate how the same mechanisms we outline in the analysis of directionality can be intuitively applied in the generation of bounded domain windows. Specifically, we illustrate how our approach models the generation of metrical stress window systems such as in Macedonian. Taken as a whole, we argue that distance-based penalty scaling handles both directionality and bounded domain window in a straightforward and unified manner.


Harmonic Grammar; Scaling; Directionality; Windows

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Copyright (c) 2018 Sharon Inkelas, Eric Wilbanks