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The Journal of Studies in Language 22.3, 49-67. The goals of this study are twofold: to investigate what elements motivate assimilation in the consonant clusters in Old English (OE) and to demonstrate how the change can be formalized in terms of constraints and their interaction. Assimilation in OE can be divided into two types: assimilation to sonorants and assimilation to obstruents. In this study it is proposed that the former change is mainly motivated by the bad syllable structure, while the latter change by perceptual difficulty. It is shown the optimal output of the data is obtained by the interaction of several factors which are substantiated into a set of constraints. Additionally, an analysis proposed in this study allows us to capture the fact that assimilation and dissimilation in the consonant clusters in OE are governed by the same hierarchy of the constraints.