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Faithfulness in Phonological Theory

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In principle, every serious theory of phonology needs to say something about the possible relations between mentally stored forms and phonetic reality. These forms need to be mapped onto each other in some way, and the restrictions on possible mappings are an important subtopic of phonological theorizing.

Faithfulness is the technical term in Optimality Theory to describe the ideal relation between the input and output of phonological computation. The thinking about this topic has been much older, however, and dates back to structuralist work on the mappings of phonemic to morphophonemic structure.

This book consists of three parts. First, it gives a critical historical overview of the literature, showing the advantages and disadvantages of virtually all existing models. Secondly, it presents a new model of faithfulness within OT, Coloured Containment, which is purely monostratal without taking recourse to constraints on relations between words. Thirdly, it illustrates the use of this model on a number of case studies from various languages.

Published: Oct 1, 2024