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Book: Optimality Theory, Phonological Acquisition and Disorders

Chapter: 1 Fundamentals of optimality theory

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.21481


This chapter presents a tutorial introduction to optimality theory with an emphasis on those aspects most relevant to acquisition and disorders. The principles and workings of the theory are illustrated by considering some fundamental phenomena in the developing sound systems of young children with phonological delays. Issues of learnability and the nature of children’s underlying representations are considered along with phonological conspiracies and their clinical implications.

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