This chapter introduces a novel formalization of surface resemblance through shared paradigm membership, couched within Optimality Theory (OT) and correspondence theory. In this Optimal Paradigms model (OP), an OT constraint hierarchy evaluates candidates consisting of entire paradigms. Within a paradigm qua candidate, every output realization of a lexeme stands in correspondence with every other output realization of that lexeme. Faithfulness constraints on this intraparadigmatic Output–Output correspondence relation resist alternation within the paradigm. Through interaction with markedness and standard faithfulness constraints, they account for surface resemblance and failure of resemblance among members of a paradigm. The OP model is illustrated and supported by a type of data that has not figured in previous discussions of the surface-resemblance problem. The chapter argues that certain properties of Classical Arabic root-and-pattern morphology cannot be satisfactorily explained without the OP model. This argument also shows how OP supports the minimalist goals of Generalized Template Theory (GTT), which seeks to eliminate templates and similar stipulations from linguistic theory, replacing them with independently motivated constraints. The analysis of Arabic templates sets in clear contrast the differences between OP and serial-derivational models, including proposals for melding OT with Lexical Phonology.
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