David Arnold Odden (pron.: /ˈoʊdən/; born 1954) is professor of Linguistics at Ohio State University. His contributions to linguistics have been in the area of phonology and language description, most notably African tone and the description of Bantu languages. In addition, his work on the obligatory contour principle (OCP) has been instrumental to an understanding of that phenomenon. He is the former editor of Studies in African Linguistics and a current editorial board member of Natural Language and Linguistic Theories.
Odden received his BA in linguistics from the University of Washington in 1975 and his PhD. from University of Illinois in 1981. From 1981 to 1984 he taught at Washington State University, Michigan State University and Yale University before joining the faculty of Ohio State University in 1985. He was made a full professor there in 1999. Odden was also the Leverhulme Visiting Professor at the School of Languages and Linguistics, University of Durham in 2003 and Fulbright Professor at the University of Tromsø, Norway from 1999 to 2000.
Selected works 
- 2005. Introducing Phonology. Cambridge University Press.
- 1996. The Phonology and Morphology of Kimaatuumbi. Oxford University Press.
- 1995. Tone: African Languages. In J. Goldsmith (ed.) The handbook of phonological theory.
- 1991. Vowel geometry. In Phonology 8.261-89.
- 1988. Anti antigemination and the OCP. In Linguistic Inquiry 19.451-75.
- 1986. On the role of the obligatory contour principle in phonological theory. In Language 62.353-83.
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