Modeling Reduplication with 2-way Finite-State Transducers

WS 2018  ·  Hossep Dolatian, Jeffrey Heinz ·

This article describes a novel approach to the computational modeling of reduplication. Reduplication is a well-studied linguistic phenomenon. However, it is often treated as a stumbling block within finite-state treatments of morphology. Most finite-state implementations of computational morphology cannot adequately capture the productivity of unbounded copying in reduplication, nor can they adequately capture bounded copying. We show that an understudied type of finite-state machines, two-way finite-state transducers (2-way FSTs), captures virtually all reduplicative processes, including total reduplication. 2-way FSTs can model reduplicative typology in a way which is convenient, easy to design and debug in practice, and linguistically-motivated. By virtue of being finite-state, 2-way FSTs are likewise incorporable into existing finite-state systems and programs. A small but representative typology of reduplicative processes is described in this article, alongside their corresponding 2-way FST models.

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