OPTIMALITY THEORY IN LANGUAGE PRODUCTION: THE CHOICE BETWEEN DIRECT AND INVERSE IN ODAWA

Kiel Christianson

Abstract


This paper proposes an analysis of variability in sentence production in the 'nonconfigurational' Algonquian language Odawa. In doing so, the role played by various hierarchies at work in the language is demonstrated, and it is shown how
these hierarchies interact to explain the frequencies with which certain constructions occur in various contexts. In doing so, a version of Optimality Theory is employed, which, although technically 'non-standard', is consistent with recent
work on language variation and variation in the evaluation function of the theory. As a result, several issues-both empirical and theoretical-are raised for future research.

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