LSA.238  Optimality Theory
Alan Prince
TR 2:554:35
location: 32155
Optimality Theory provides a way of thinking precisely about central but often muddily deployed notions in linguistic theory  markedness, competition, conflict, "last resort", complexity, learnability  if you can think precisely about Optimality Theory. Recent developments have made the internal logic of the theory much more accessible to view and therefore to practical use.
We focus on three related topics.
(1) how the logic of the theory guides the construction of valid arguments in and about OT, with emphasis on what that logic is and the techniques for manipulating it; (2) how the theory of nonconflicting constraints gives rise to the theory of scales and 'specialgeneral' effects, and (3) how issues of learning and learnability, construed algorithmically, play out in the formal and empirical landscape discerned in (1) and (2). 
