MoL-2001-14: Frog Leaps and Human Noises: An Optimality Theory Approach to Cultural Change

MoL-2001-14: Giannakoulopoulos, Andreas P. (2001) Frog Leaps and Human Noises: An Optimality Theory Approach to Cultural Change. [Report]

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Optimality Theory came into being during the last decade of the 20th
century as a linguistic theory seeking to explain language phenomena
in a rather revolutionary way: grammars would no more consist of
inviolable strict rules to be learnt by heart, but rather are to be
thought of as sets of violable constraints which determine optimal
output types among competing ones. In this paper an attempt is made to
extract this explanatory mechanism from the linguistic field and
implement it in decision-making areas involving cost and
efficiency. This attempt is substantiated by the construction of a
model which evaluates sets of candidate outputs in terms of optimality
in particular situational settings. Considerable interest has been
given to the flexibility of the model, as to formalize quite diverse
aspects of human behavior, all of which share in common a strong
disposition towards economy constraints and effort versus utility
equilibria. Individual preferences, as well as previous experiences,
are crucial factors for the evaluation of candidates which takes place
under a combination of quantitative methods along with standard
Optimality Theory techniques. Optimal outputs in turn, constitute
behavioral patterns and eventually lead to cultural change. The
concept of violable constraints is shown to resemble common-sense
procedures in decision-making, thus the model functions in both a
theoretic and an operational perspective.

Item Type: Report
Report Nr: MoL-2001-14
Series Name: Master of Logic Thesis (MoL) Series
Year: 2001
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2016 14:38
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2016 14:38

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