Download PDF by April McMahon: Change, Chance, and Optimality (Oxford Linguistics)

By April McMahon

This booklet is ready how languages switch. it's also a devastating critique of a common linguistic orthodoxy. April McMahon argues that to supply a powerful rationalization of linguistic swap the jobs of historical past and contingency has to be accommodated in linguistic thought. She additionally exhibits that theoretical paintings in comparable disciplines can be utilized to evaluate the worth of such theories.

Optimality conception, or OT because it is mostly known as, dominates modern phonology, specifically within the united states, and is turning into more and more influential in syntax and language acquisition. Having set out its foundation rules, Professor McMahon assesses their explanatory energy in analysing language swap and its residues in present phonological structures. utilizing cross-linguistic facts, and drawing comparisons with different theories in and out linguistics, she exhibits that OT is incapable of accounting for language switch, with no the addition of principles and an appreciation of likelihood and ancient contingency that might then undermine its theoretical underpinnings.

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Change, Chance, and Optimality (Oxford Linguistics) by April McMahon

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