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This work presents a heuristic mathematical approach to modeling and quantifying constraint violations. The empirical phenomenon consists of different word orders with contrastive focus in the Spanish variety of Catalonia and in Catalan. Experimental data has been collected with a gradient acceptability judgment test for auditorily presented focus constructions. The most unmarked position for contrastively focused objects in the Spanish of Catalonia is in situ or sentence-final, while indoi:10.1515/tlir.2011.004 fatcat:wwb6fgvnrjbjnmr3qrevohm4x4