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

Published in Proceedings of the Linguistic Society of America, 2019

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.

On Subcategorization and PRIORITY: Evidence from Welsh Allomorphy

Published in UNC MA Thesis, 2019

This thesis examines the phonologically conditioned suppletive allomorphy (PCSA) of the definite article in Welsh and initial consonant mutations. The analysis of these patterns shows that Optimality Theory (Prince & Smolensky 2004[1993]), with the addition of Lexical Selection’s use of priority relationship and lexical subcategorization (Mascaró 2007; Bonet et al. 2007) and Prosodic Subcategorization (Inkelas 1990, 1993; Zec 2005; Bye 2007; Bennett et al. 2018; Tyler 2019), can account for the distribution of the definite article allomorphs and their interaction with the rest of the grammar as well as the behavior of Welsh initial consonant mutations contrary to Hannahs & Tallerman (2006). The analysis further argues for an expansion of prosodic subcategorization to include allomorph-specific subcategorization frames in light of the Welsh definite article. Additionally, this thesis makes the argument against a purely morphological subcategorization approach to phonologically conditioned allomorphy, contrary to the claims of Paster (2009, 2015).

Matching Phrases in Norwegian Object Shift

Published in Supplemental Proceedings of the 2020 Annual Meeting on Phonology., 2021

This paper is about providing an account of Norwegian object shift within Match Theory. We show that Match Theory is well suited to account for the shifting of pronominal objects if the MATCH constraints are sensitive to lexical elements only. This observation is in contrast with the findings from Elfner (2012) that MATCH should be sensitive to both lexical and functional elements.


MATCHING Phrases in Norwegian Object Shift


One significant contribution of generative linguistics has been to our understanding of ‘movement,’ which occurs when a word is linearized in a position different from where it is interpreted. Even though movement often is considered a syntactic phenomenon, some cases seem best analyzed prosodically, such as pronoun post-posing in Irish (Bennett, Elfner, & McClosky 2016). We explore prosodically driven movement in Norwegian, which is known for having pronominal object shift (OS). We show that OS can be explained by Match Theory (Selkirk 2009, 2011), but only if the Match constraints are sensitive to lexical items and their projects instead of Elfner’s (2012) definition where Match is sensitive to lexical and functional elements and their projections.


Teaching experience 1

Undergraduate course, University 1, Department, 2014

This is a description of a teaching experience. You can use markdown like any other post.

Teaching experience 2

Workshop, University 1, Department, 2015

This is a description of a teaching experience. You can use markdown like any other post.