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Re: Consonant Harmony?

From:Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>
Date:Thursday, September 26, 2002, 21:19
En réponse à "Thomas R. Wier" <trwier@...>:

> I was sitting here reading an article about word classes in > Winnebago when all of a sudden, more or less out of nowhere, I > began to wonder if there were conlangs with consonant harmony. > (I suppose some of the examples reminded me of some examples > of palatal harmony I'd studied last year.) None of my languages > have it, and I've never heard of any. How about it? Are > there any? >
Tj'a-ts'a~n has both consonant and vowel harmony. Namely, prefixes and suffixes (always of the form C'V'A, where the ' marks a sound that undergoes harmony) harmonise with the nearest consonant and/or vowel of the root. Vowel harmony is a simple frount unrounded<->back rounded thing. Consonant harmony is a more complicated thing, with three levels: unvoiced, voiced and nasal. The rules are: When the root consonant is: an unvoiced occlusive, s (pronounced /s/ or /S/), sj or sw: the affix consonant is unvoiced: p->p s->/s/ or /S/ t->t w->pw others don't change. k->k j->tj a voiced occlusive, s (pronounced /z/ or /Z/), w, j, r, or no consonant at all (a single-vowel root): the affix consonnant is voiced: p->b s->/z/ or /Z/ t->d others don't change. k->g a voiced nasalized occlusive or a nasal: the affix consonant is nasalized and voiced: p->~b s->/z/ or /Z/ t->~d w->mw others don't change. k->~g j->nj For instance, the prefix |tj'a| (abstract gender - Tj'a-ts'a~n has gender classes -) is Tj'a-ts'a~n is an example of this harmony. It is normally listed in the form j'a /ja/. The vowel can be |'a| /a/ or |a| /Q/ depending on the quality of the vowel of the root. As for the consonant, it can be |j| /j/, |tj| /t_j/, /t_S/ or /t_C/ or |nj| /nj/, /n_j/ or /J/, depending on the quality of the consonant of the root. So each affix has as much as 6 different forms because of both harmonies. Christophe. Take your life as a movie: do not let anybody else play the leading role.