LingML Overview

The OTML project is part of a general project devoted to developing logical encodings of theoretical objects in linguistic theory in XML. These encodings can then be rendered with standard formatting tools (HTML, LaTeX, PDF, etc.) or be subject to further computational processing.

The idea is to liberate the linguist from the tedium of formatting, while at the same time, tying our linguistic diagrams and formalisms to clear testable claims.

If you are interested in participating in this enterprise or would like to contribute resources for any theoretical framework within linguistic theory, see the LingML homepage.

OTML Overview

The XML resources on this page are intended to demonstrate the LingML approach with respect to Optimality Theory (Prince & Smolensky, 1993; etc.).

Encoding constraints

Constraints can be encoded using the ot.dtd. A sample encoding is given in mycon.xml. Download the latter and build a similar XML file with your own constraints.

The encoding is incomplete. It allows for only two kinds of constraints: markedness and faithfulness, where this property is set as an attribute of the constraint node. In the case of markedness constraints, a set of patterns can be listed that the constraint assigns violations to. In the case of faithfulness constraints, a set of patterns can be given that the constraint requires input-output identity for.

At this point, the patterns for both constraint types are given simply as string sequences. (Obviously, features, prosody, and morphology must be accommodated, but these are not implemented yet.)

The ranking of the constraints is given by their order in the XML file: the first constraint is the highest-ranked.

Encoding tableaux

OT tableaux are encoded using the tableau.dtd. A sample tableau is given in mytab.xml. Download the latter and constraint a similar XML file for your own tableau.

The basic idea is that the user need only include the input, the constraint set (as a reference to the XML file including the constraints encoded as in the previous section), and the candidates to be adjudicated between. The XSL stylesheet does the actual work of calculating violations and rendering a tableau.

Rendering constraints

Constraints can be rendered in an HTML format that simply lists the constraint name, the type (markedness or faithfulness), and the patterns given. This is done using the othtml.xsl stylesheet. Constraints can also be rendered in LaTeX source using the otlatex.xsl stylesheet. (The latter draws on a separate globreplace.xsl stylesheet that must be downloaded as well.) This of course requires that you have some version of LaTeX installed on your system to process the source into a printable output.

Rendering/processing tableaux

Tableaux can be rendered in HTML (tableau.xsl) or in LaTeX (tablatex.xsl) using the appropriate stylesheets. (The latter draws on a separate globreplace.xsl stylesheet that must be downloaded as well.)

Mike Hammond