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Optimality theory: Motivations and perspectives

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of Phonological Theory
EditorsS. J. Hannahs, Anna Bosch
PublisherRoutledge
Pages13-36
Number of pages24
Edition1st
ISBN (Electronic)9781315675428
ISBN (Print)9781138025813
DOIs
StatePublished - 21 Dec 2017

Publication series

NameRoutledge Handbooks in Linguistics

Abstract

The classic version of Optimality Theory, first described in detail by Prince & Smolensky (1993), is a phonological framework that privileges the simultaneous satisfaction of multiple violable constraints by phonological representations over the gradual construction of correct representations from given inputs. At its core, an OT grammar implements a search procedure that finds the surface form that is most compatible with the relevant underlying representation, given the specific properties of the particular language. In OT, these language-specific properties are encoded as a series of rankable violable constraints.

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