A thematic guide to optimality theory by John J. McCarthy

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By John J. McCarthy

This booklet describes Optimality idea from the pinnacle down, explaining and exploring the imperative premises of OT and the implications that stick with from them. Examples are drawn from phonology, morphology, and syntax, however the emphasis all through is at the conception instead of the examples, on knowing what's unique approximately OT and on equipping readers to use it, expand it, and critique it of their personal parts of curiosity. The book's insurance extends to paintings on first- and second-language acquisition, phonetics and practical phonology, computational linguistics, ancient linguistics, and sociolinguistics. Chapters finish with wide feedback for extra studying, categorised by way of subject, and are supplemented through an incredible bibliography (over 800 items).

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Extra info for A thematic guide to optimality theory

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Some names do not need transliteration at all, but have standard TL equivalents. Compare German ‘St. Johannes/Hl. Johannes’, French ‘Saint Jean’ and Italian ‘S. Giovanni’; or German ‘der [Ärmel]kanal’ and French ‘la Manche’: in these cases there is little choice but to use ‘St John’ and ‘the Channel’, unless the translator wants deliberately to draw attention to the foreign origin of the text. The same applies to initials and acronyms: compare German ‘MwSt’ and English ‘VAT’, German ‘HNO-Arzt’ and English ‘ENT specialist’, etc.

Das ist unser Ehrgeiz: einem Briefträger die Meinung stoßen. Ich gehe in die Baracke und sage Tjaden Bescheid, damit er verschwindet. Dann wechseln wir unsern Platz und lagern uns wieder, um Karten zu spielen. Denn das können wir: Kartenspielen, fluchen und Krieg führen. Nicht viel für zwanzig Jahre – zuviel für zwanzig Jahre. Nach einer halben Stunde ist Himmelstoß erneut bei uns. Niemand beachtet ihn. Er fragt nach Tjaden. Wir zucken die Achseln. „Ihr solltet ihn doch suchen“, beharrt er. “ erkundigt sich Kropp.

Conversely, rendering ‘persons with limited mobility’ as ‘Gehbehinderte’ is more economical in words and syllables, and also brings the nature of the handicap more vividly to mind. Such losses are very common. Another common source of translation loss between English and German concerns gender-specific forms. These are much more frequent in German for ‘occupational’ names – terms such as ‘teacher’, ‘baker’, ‘student’, but also ‘applicant’, ‘recipient’, etc. For decades, German radio audiences have been ‘(Liebe) Hörer und Hörerinnen’.

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