Precedence and the Lack Thereof: Precedence-Relation-Oriented Phonology

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The study of representations, their limits and capacities, is an indispensable part of the formal study of language. The representations are the limits of what can be stored and computed upon, and the details of a representation have a major influence on the form of any analysis. Broadly, the goal of this thesis is to explore a lower bound of complexity for the phonological module. By exploring the capacities of a representation that I will argue requires fewer stipulations than anything offered before it, I will defend the claim that the freedom of this more powerful representation matches the power of morphology. More specifically I will argue that the representation of phonology is not strings, but directed graphs, and that this representation is simpler and more powerful and that its power exactly matches the set of attested phenomena of word-formation and phonology. The goal of this dissertation is to expand on the theory of Multiprecedence, which is both promising and under-explored.