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Morphotactics as Tier-Based Strictly Local Dependencies

Aksënova, Alëna, Thomas Graf, and Sedigheh Moradi

Abstract It is commonly accepted that morphological dependencies are finite-state in nature. We argue that the upper bound on morphological expressivity is much lower. Drawing on technical results from computational phonology, we show that a variety of morphotactic phenomena are tier-based strictly local and do not fall into weaker subclasses such as the strictly local or strictly piecewise languages. Since the tier-based strictly local languages are learnable in the limit from positive texts, this marks a first important steps towards general machine learning algorithms for morphology. Furthermore, the limitation to tier-based strictly local languages explains typological gaps that are puzzling from a purely linguistic perspective.

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@InProceedings{AksenovaEtAl16Sigmorphon,
  author = {Aks\"{e}nova, Al\"{e}na and Graf, Thomas and Moradi, Sedigheh},
  title = {Morphotactics as Tier-Based Strictly Local Dependencies},
  year = {2016},
  booktitle = {Proceedings of SIGMorPhon 2016},
  note = {To appear} 
}

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