Non-Finno-Ugric/Turkish vowel harmony systems and the
|From:||John Cowan <jcowan@...>|
|Date:||Wednesday, October 23, 2002, 2:57|
Dirk Elzinga scripsit:
> The curious feature of Nez Perce is that the two sets of vowels don't
> seem to form natural classes. In particular, the presence of /i/ in both
> sets is rather perplexing. Stems which contain /i/ can trigger dominant
> harmony or fail to trigger it. Compare the forms for 'paternal aunt'
> with those for 'mother', which is almost idential to it in form:
Some Altaic languages have neutral vowels too, and the usual explanation
is that an ordinary vocalic opposition has been fully neutralized:
/i/ and /barred-i/ have collapsed, and so the vowel harmony is damaged a bit.
Interestingly, I don't know any language where vowel harmony is active.
It's always inherited from the original stock, and it doesn't affect
loan words, and it's always somewhat damaged by sound changes.
John Cowan firstname.lastname@example.org www.ccil.org/~cowan www.reutershealth.com
"If I have seen farther than others, it is because I am surrounded by dwarves."