Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Re: Question about vowel harmono

From:dirk elzinga <dirk.elzinga@...>
Date:Thursday, May 3, 2001, 13:28
On Wed, 2 May 2001, Patrick Dunn wrote:

> Are there any other languages that use vowel harmony?
Many languages of Africa have vowel harmony based on the relative advancement or retraction of the tongue root. Nez Perce also has this kind of harmony, as does Chukchi. In Nez Perce, the harmonic sets are: dominant recessive i i u o a & If a word contains a morpheme with a vowel belonging to "dominant" set, all of the vowels of that word will be from this set; otherwise, all vowels of a word belong to the recessive set. Notice that /i/ belongs to both sets; there are morphemes containing dominant /i/ which trigger harmony. Here is a near minimal pair illustrating how this works: ci:c 'paternal aunt' ci:ca? 'paternal aunt-vocative' na?ci:c 'my paternal aunt' ?i:c 'mother' ?i:c&? 'mother-vocative' n&?i:c 'my mother' The stem 'paternal aunt' is a harmony-controlling stem, shown by the dominant /a/ of the affixes. The stem 'mother' on the other hand, is not, as shown by the recessive /&/ of the affixes. I think it's a nifty system. Dirk -- Dirk Elzinga "The strong craving for a simple formula has been the undoing of linguists." - Edward Sapir


Raymond Brown <ray.brown@...>