Capturing gradience in long-distance phonology using probabilistic tier-based strictly local grammars
Connor Mayer
April 2021

Phonological processes often exhibit gradience, both in response frequencies and in acceptability judgments. This paper presents a variation of tier-based strictly local grammars, probabilistic tier-based strictly local (pTSL) grammars, which calculate the conditional probability that a given input string has some grammatical projection. pTSL grammars are well-suited to modeling gradience, particularly for long-distance processes, and naturally extend categorical tier-based strictly local grammars by probabilizing the projection function. After describing the formal properties of pTSL, I illustrate its application using data from Hungarian and Uyghur. pTSL is able to capture distance-based decay in these languages without an explicit notion of distance, and provides a unified account of gradient blocking and distance-based decay. I finish by outlining some of the limitations of pTSL, and how further extensions may overcome these.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/005556
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Proceedings of the Society for Computation in Linguistics. Vol. 4. Article 5.
keywords: formal language theory, phonology, vowel harmony, gradience, autosegmental
previous versions: v2 [January 2021]
v1 [October 2020]
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