We have presented a new approach for implementing OT which is based on matching rather than the counting approach of [12]. The matching approach shares the advantages of the counting approach in that it uses the finite state calculus and avoids off-line sorting and counting of constraint violations. We have shown that the matching approach is superior in that analyses that can only be approximated by counting can be exactly implemented by matching. Moreover, the size of the resulting transducers is significantly smaller.

We have shown that the matching approach along with global permutation provides a powerful technique technique for minimizing constraint violations. Although we have only applied this approach to permutations of the Prince & Smolensky syllabification analysis, we speculate that the approach (even with local permutation) will also yield exact implementations for most other OT phonological analyses. Further investigation is needed here, particularly with recent versions of OT such as correspondence theory. Another line of further research will be the proper integration of finite state OT with non-OT phonological rules as discussed, for example, in papers collected in [5] .

Finally, we intend also to investigate the application of our approach to syntax. [12] suggests that the Constraint Grammar approach of [9] could be implemented using lenient composition. If this is the case, it could most probably be implemented more precisely using the matching approach. Recently, [18] has presented an implementation of Dependency syntax which also uses lenient composition with the counting approach. The alternative of using a matching approach here should be investigated.