S-Space Language Education Institute (언어교육원) Language Research (어학연구) Language Research (어학연구) Volume 38 Number 1/4 (2002)
An Optimality-Theoretic Account of Diachronic Consonant Cluster Simplification in English
- Oh Young-il
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 언어교육원
- 어학연구, Vol.38 No.4, pp. 1217-1234
- historical sound change; optimality theory; constraint reranking; consonant cluster simplification; frequency; domination
- This paper deals with the issue of representing historical sound change within the framework of Optimality Theory. It is generally accepted in Optimality Theory that both language change and synchronic variations are characterized by employing simultaneous constraint reranking. In this paper, however, I argue that historical sound change, in sharp contrast with variations, must be decomposed into a series of unranking (softening), reranking, and ranking (hardening) process in order to accommodate the gradual aspect of historical sound change. Based on the new interpretation of the dotted line, I also argue that constraint reranking should be applied not across the solid line but across the dotted line in the domain of sound change.