Re: Question about vowel harmono
|From:||Raymond Brown <ray.brown@...>|
|Date:||Friday, May 4, 2001, 17:57|
At 7:28 am -0600 3/5/01, dirk elzinga wrote:
>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
> 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
Yes, Igbo has a similar system of vowel harmony which, according to
Carnochan ('Vowel Harmony in Igbo', 1960) is [SAMPA notatio]:
i u e 8
E o a O
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.
Indeed - and it applies to all affixes & not just suffixes as in the
FinnoUgric & Turkic systems.
A mind which thinks at its own expense
will always interfere with language.
[J.G. Hamann 1760]