lol... how long did it take you to type that? It took me like 5 minutes just reading that :lol:happyfamine said:The main idea of OT is that surface forms of the language arise from the resolution of conflicts between competing constraints. These constraints are minimally violated in that the form that surfaces is the one which incurs the least serious violations, compared to a set of possible candidates. The seriousness of a violation is defined in terms of hierarchies of constraints in which the violations of higher-ranked constraints are most serious. This domination is said to be strict in that higher constraints take absolute priority over lower constraints. That is, given a constraint C1, ranked above C2 and C3, the expression of the language that surfaces (the winning candidate) may perform worse than its competitors in both C2 and C3, as long as it performs better in C1. Constraints are generally regarded as universal (though not by all OT researchers), but their ranking is particular to each language, accommodating for language variation. Acquisition can be roughly described as the process of ranking these constraints.