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Re: TERMS: going dotty, twice over (was: TERMS: Umlaut-Ablaut)

From:Nik Taylor <fortytwo@...>
Date:Thursday, November 18, 1999, 6:20
FFlores wrote:
> I thought you could call them simply forward or backward vowel harmony, > or something like that (like there is forward and backward assimilation). > But I guess the main difference is that vowel harmony involves the root > (while umlaut may modify non-root vowels too, can't it?).
Well, in vowel harmony, the WHOLE word must agree in some quality, like "front" or "back". For instance, say you had a language with vowels /i y e 2 a A o 7 u M/ (2 = front mid round; 7 = back mid unround, M = back high unround). Vowel harmony affects backness Okay, roots like */kitos/ are impossible, it would have to be /kit2s/ or /kMtos/. Now, say there was a suffix -/no/, when added to /kit2/, it becomes /kit2n2/, but if added to /kMto/, it is /kMtono/ Umlaut is (AFAIK) specifically an effect of affixes on roots. Go back to the the same vowel phonology. But, this time /kitos/ is possible. Now, add a suffix -/i/, and it becomes /kit2si/ I suppose umlaut could work with prefixes, like /i/ + /kotes/ --> /ik2tes/. Are there any natlang precedents for this? In other words, in vowel harmony, the root determines the shape of the affix, while in umlaut, the affix determines the shape of the root. -- "Old linguists never die - they just come to voiceless stops." - anonymous ICQ: 18656696 AIM Screen-Name: NikTailor