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Alan Prince (born 1946) is a professor of linguistics at Rutgers University. Prince, along with Paul Smolensky, developed Optimality Theory, currently the most influential theory about phonology. He received his Ph.D. from MIT.


See this page for links to papers


  • Prince, Alan, and Paul Smolensky. 2004. Optimality Theory: Constraint Interaction in Generative grammar. Blackwell: Malden, MA; Oxford, UK; Carlton,Aus.

Chapters in booksEdit

  • Prince, Alan. 2006. The Pursuit of Theory. In Paul de Lacy, ed., Cambridge Handbook of Phonology.
  • Prince, Alan. 2002. Arguing Optimality. In Coetzee, Andries, Angela Carpenter and Paul de Lacy (eds). Papers in Optimality Theory II. GLSA, UMass. Amherst. ROA-536.
  • Prince, Alan. 2002. Anything Goes. In A New Century of Phonology and Phonological Theory, ed. T. Honma, M. Okazaki, T. Tabata, & S. Tanaka. Kaitakusha: Tokyo. 66-90. ROA-536. 20pp. 216K/pdf.
  • Prince, Alan and Paul Smolensky. Optimality Theory in Phonology. Article for Oxford International Encyclopedia of Linguistics. 17pp. 200Kb/pdf.
  • McCarthy, John and Alan Prince. 1997/99. Faithfulness and Identity in Prosodic Morphology. ROA-216. 65pp. In The Morphology- Prosody Interface, (1999) eds. Harry van der Hulst, René Kager, and Wim Zonneveld. pp. 218-309, Cambridge University Press.


  • Prince, Alan. 2005. Harmony at Base Omega: Utility Functions for OT. 8pp. ROA-798.
  • Brasoveanu, Adrian, and Alan Prince. 2005. Ranking & Necessity. Part I. 44pp. ROA-794.
  • Tesar, Bruce, and Alan Prince. 2003. Using phonotactics to learn phonological alternations. Proceedings of the Thirty-Ninth Conference of the Chicago Linguistics Society, Vol. II: The Panels. ROA-620.
  • Tesar, Bruce, and John Alderete, Graham Horwood, Nazarre Merchant, Koichi Nishitani, and Alan Prince. 2003. Surgery in language learning. Proceedings of the Twenty-Second West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics. 477-490. ROA-619.
  • Samek-Lodovici, Vieri and Alan Prince. 2002. Fundamental Properties of Harmonic Bounding. RuCCS-TR-71. Updated as ROA-785.
  • Prince, Alan. 2002. Entailed Ranking Arguments. ROA-500. 117pp. 800K/pdf
  • Prince, Alan. 2000. Comparative Tableaux. Superseded by "Arguing Optimality," see above.
  • Samek-Lodovici, Vieri and Alan Prince. 1999. Optima. ROA-363. 58pp. 250K/pdf.
  • Prince, Alan and Bruce Tesar. 1999. Learning Phonotactic Distributions.ROA-353. 32pp. 224K/pdf.
  • Prince, Alan. 1998. Two Lectures on Optimality Theory. Talks given at the 1998 Phonology Forum, Kobe. 99K/pdf.

rince, Alan and Paul Smolensky. 1997. Optimality: From Neural Networks to Universal Grammar. Science 275, 1604-1610. 580K/pdf.

  • Prince, Alan 1997. Elsewhere and Otherwise. Glot International 2:1, 23-24. ROA-217. 7pp.

  • Prince, Alan & John McCarthy. 1996. Prosodic Morphology 1986. RuCCS-TR-32. Rutgers Center for Cognitive Science.100pp. PDF/560K.

  • Prince, Alan. 1996. Gradient Ascent in a Linear Inhibitory Network. RuCCS-TR-31, Rutgers Center for Cognitive Science, 13pp. PDF/107K.

  • Pinker, Steven & Alan Prince. 1996. The nature of human concepts: evidence from an unusual source. Communication and Cognition, 29, 307-361.
  • McCarthy, John & Alan Prince. 1995. Faithfulness and Reduplicative Identity. ROA-60. 137pp.

In Jill Beckman, Suzanne Urbanczyk, Laura Walsh eds. UMOP-18: Papers in Optimality Theory.

  • McCarthy, John & Alan Prince. 1994. The Emergence of the Unmarked. ROA-13. 47pp.

In Mercè Gonzàlez, ed., NELS 24: Proceedings of [the 1993 meeting of] the Northeastern Linguistic Society, Vol. 2, 333-379. GLSA: Amherst, MA.

  • Prince, Alan & Paul Smolensky. 1993. Optimality Theory: Constraint Interaction in Generative Grammar. RuCCS-TR-2. ROA-537. 262pp.

  • McCarthy, John & Alan Prince. 1993a. Prosodic Morphology: Constraint Interaction and Satisfaction. RuCCS-TR-3. ROA-482. 196pp.

  • McCarthy, John & Alan Prince. 1993b. Generalized Alignment. ROA-7. 69pp.

In Geert Booij and Jaap van Marle, eds,Yearbook of Morphology 1993, 79-153. Kluwer: Boston.

  • Prince, Alan. 1993. In defense of the number i : Anatomy of a linear dynamical model of linguistic generalizations.. RuCCS TR-1. 100pp. PDF/1M.

  • Prince, Alan. 1990. Quantitative Consequences of Rhythmic Organization. 34pp., 310Kb/pdf.

In CSL 26-II: Papers from the Parasession on the Syllable in Phonetics and Phonology, ed. Karen Deaton, Manuela Noske, and Michael Ziolkowski, 355-398. Chicago: Chicago Linguistics Society.

External linksEdit

Rutgers homepage

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