Optimality Theory
as a General Cognitive Architecture

Workshop held at the 33rd annual meeting of the Cognitive Science Society

July 20, 2011 in Boston, Massachusetts


Lotte Hogeweg (Radboud University Nijmegen, Netherlands): Optimality Theory as a general linguistic theory

Optimality Theory is mostly associated with phonology but it has been applied to practically all linguistic subfields, including syntax, semantics and pragmatics. In this talk I will discuss the differences that can be identified in the way OT is applied to several linguistic disciplines. In relation to this, I will address the application of OT to kinship terminology by Jones (2010) and discuss why the analysis has more in common with previous OT analyses in the domain of phonology than with OT analyses in the domain of (lexical) semantics.