History of Phonology: Optimality Theory
Marc Van Oostendorp
January 2018

This paper describes the history of Optimality Theory as a theory of phonology between 1993. Its main argument is that there have been two lines of work on Optimality Theory. One line was taking OT seriously as a theory on language variation, computation and learnability, and finding restrictions on it. Another line was that the notation of OT very soon started working as a lingua franca for very different kinds of phonological analysis. In order to make this work, the empirical scope has been considerably broadened, but this may have been to the detriment of restrictivity and therefore of predictive power.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/003827
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: B. Elan Dresher and Harry van der Hulst (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of the history of phonology. To appear
keywords: optimality theory, history of linguistics, phonology
previous versions: v1 [January 2018]
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