Volume 46, Issue 1-2
  • ISSN 0302-5160
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9781
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Despite being a recent development in generative linguistics, Optimality Theory (OT, Prince & Smolensky 1993) has had a profound impact on linguistics, particularly on phonology in North America. OT posits that observed forms of language arise due to conflicting linguistic constraints. When proposed in 1993, OT saw virtually overnight success in American phonology despite not having been the first theory of grammar to focus solely on the constraint. I argue, that the reasons for which OT saw such immediate success due in large part to the efforts of Prince and Smolensky to work at getting the word out, the state of American phonology at the time which felt stagnant to some, and the coincidence of OT’s birth with the Internet Boom which Prince and Smolensky used to their advantage


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