This issue of Linguistics in Potsdam contains a number of papers that grew out of the workshop Descriptive and Empirical Adequacy in Linguistics held in Berlin on December 17-19 December, 2005. One of the goals of this meeting was to bring together scholars working in various frameworks (with emphasis on the Minimalist Program and Optimality Theory) and to discuss matters concerning descriptive and empirical adequacy. Another explicit goal was to discuss the question whether Minimalism and Optimality Theory should be considered incompatible and, hence, competing theories, or whether the two frameworks should rather be considered complementary in certain respects (see http://let.uvt.nl/deal05/call.html for the call for papers). Five of the seven papers in this volume directly grew out of the oral presentations given at the workshop. Although Vieri Samek-Lodovici’s paper was not part of the workshop, it can also be considered a result of the workshop since it pulls together some of his many comments during the discussion time. The paper by Eva Engels and Sten Vikner discusses a phenomenon that received much interest from both minimalist and optimality theoretic syntax in the recent years, Scandinavian object shift. The paper may serve as a practical example for a claim that is repeatedly made in this volume: minimalist and OT analyses, even where they might be competing, can fruitfully inform each other in a constructive manner, leading to a deeper understanding of syntactic phenomena.