Variables Must be Limited to a Single Feature

Brandon Prickett
2020 Proceedings of the Annual Meetings on Phonology  
In this paper, I show that applying variables in the unconstrainted way that Halle (1962) first proposed causes the representation of certain phonotactic patterns to be simplified. I go on to show that this simplification prohibits an otherwise standard MaxEnt model from being biased in ways that reflect human behavior. As a solution, I propose limiting variables to occurring in the same feature across different segments. This not only prevents the pathological predictions for learnability, but
more » ... r learnability, but it also makes variables represent more modern theories of assimilation and dissimilation like autosegmental spreading (Goldsmith, 1976) and surface correspondence constraints (Rose & Walker, 2004).
doi:10.3765/amp.v8i0.4677 fatcat:d2hlcfdgrjeybbgv7admszqwh4