There is a whole strain of research (represented, e.g., by Florian Jaeger) that regards the communication channel as a Noisy Channel in the sense of Shannon. The uniform information density hypothesis postulates that this Noisy Channel is always optimally used with respect to information, and that speakers adjust their utterances to the channel capacity.


Richness of the Base (RotB) is a slogan referring to the fact that Optimality Theory only evaluates output, and has no mechanism for saying what things exist in inputs. This is in contrast with rules-based theories which has Morpheme Structure Constraints that could say e.g. "No morpheme can end with a consonant". There are a number of paraphrases ...


This can be disposed of with a contrast-enhancement constraints, which makes the output of /p/ vs. /b/ more perceptually salient (there being more phonetic cues to identify the distinction when voiceless stops are aspirated). Here is one of hundreds of ways to integrate contrast-enhancement. The claim that aspirated stops are mark is itself a highly ...

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