Advantages of Constituency: Computational Perspectives on Samoan Word Prosody


In this paper, we computationally implement and compare grammars of Samoan stress patterns that refer to feet and that refer only to syllables in Karttunen’s finite state formalization of Optimality Theory, and in grammars that directly state restrictions on surface stress patterns. The grammars are defined and compared in the high-level language of xfst to engage closely with specific linguistic proposals. While succinctness (size of the grammar) is not affected by referring to feet in the direct grammars, in the OT formalism, the grammar with feet is clearly more succinct. Moreover, a striking difference between the direct and OT grammars is that the OT grammars suffer from scaling problems.

Formal Grammar. FG 2017. Lecture Notes in Computer Science
Kristine M. Yu
Kristine M. Yu
Associate Professor

Linguist @ UMass Amherst