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By John J. McCarthy

This e-book describes Optimality thought from the head down, explaining and exploring the principal premises of OT and the consequences that stick with from them. Examples are drawn from phonology, morphology, and syntax, however the emphasis all through is at the idea instead of the examples, on knowing what's distinct approximately OT and on equipping readers to use it, expand it, and critique it of their personal parts of curiosity. The book's assurance extends to paintings on first- and second-language acquisition, phonetics and useful phonology, computational linguistics, old linguistics, and sociolinguistics. Chapters finish with large feedback for extra interpreting, categorized by way of subject, and are supplemented by way of an incredible bibliography (over 800 items).

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Sample text

Ellis investigated subject–verb concord in southern literature from the early nineteenth century, and he succeeded in providing reliable documentation of the “northern concord rule,” a complex quantitative distribution of the verbal -s ending dependent upon the formal realization of the subject (see below, section 5; cf. Montgomery 1997b). Finally, a promising “window into the past” of a regional dialect can be found in the phenomenon of a speech island, a community that was cut off from the majority of practitioners of its culture and speech forms by some historical accident.

In conclusion, I would like to summarize some preliminary findings with respect to the nature of earlier Southern English, and I would like to make a proposition which results from these findings and resolves some of the apparent paradoxes encountered in the description of Southern English and its earlier phases. Two general statements appear to be justified on the emergence of Southern English and its relationship with input dialects from Great Britain: r While it is clear that forms of Southern English go back to British dialectal input, the evidence at hand clearly constrains the importance that can be attributed to this original input.

G. g. Gordon 1998). All of these research activities have had to face essentially the same fundamental problem: the limited amount and the questionable quality of sources of earlier nonstandard speech that have come down to us. Typically, dialect utterances of earlier times were not considered worthy of preservation by outside observers, and dialect speakers themselves usually were not literate, so it is only in exceptional instances that dialect was written down and that such records have been preserved.

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