Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details

Linguistics

An Interdisciplinary Journal of the Language Sciences

Editor-in-Chief: van der Auwera, Johan


IMPACT FACTOR increased in 2015: 0.763
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 0.872
Rank 78 out of 179 in category Linguistics in the 2015 Thomson Reuters Journal Citation Report/Social Sciences Edition

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2015: 0.496
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2015: 1.099
Impact per Publication (IPP) 2015: 0.689

99,00 € / $149.00 / £75.00*

Online
ISSN
1613-396X
See all formats and pricing
Select Volume and Issue
Loading journal volume and issue information...

30,00 € / $42.00 / £23.00

Get Access to Full Text

Introduction: Current issues in optimality theoretic syntax

1 / Helen De Hoop2

*Correspondence address: Peter Ackema, Department of Linguistics and English Language, University of Edinburgh, 40 George Square, Edinburgh, EH8 9LL, United Kingdom.

Citation Information: Linguistics. Volume 44, Issue 5, Pages 873–887, ISSN (Online) 1613-396X, ISSN (Print) 0024-3949, DOI: 10.1515/LING.2006.028, September 2006

Publication History

Published Online:
2006-09-13

Abstract

1. Introduction to OT syntax

General tendencies that hold in or across languages are easy to find. For example, sentences in English usually have a subject. The subject often is the first element in the sentence. In many cases, the subject is the agent of the action expressed by the verb. Crucially, these statements are mere tendencies, not absolute laws. It is very difficult to find observable properties that hold without exception across languages. If we were to formulate these general statements as rules, these rules would often have to be broken because of a number of exceptions. In standard generative syntax, constraints are assumed to be inviolable, i.e., they must be satisfied in a grammatical sentence. In order to “save” generalizations (rules) from apparent violations (counterexamples) in the linguistic data, generally three strategies are applied:

  1. 1. assume empty structure to satisfy the constraint (invisibly);

  2. 2. assume an abstract level at which the constraint is satisfied (invisibly);

  3. 3. modify the constraint, making it less general, so that it is satisfied by the data.

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.