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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 > 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.
Yes, Igbo has a similar system of vowel harmony which, according to Carnochan ('Vowel Harmony in Igbo', 1960) is [SAMPA notatio]: dominant recessive i u e 8 E o a O [snip] 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. Ray. ========================================= A mind which thinks at its own expense will always interfere with language. [J.G. Hamann 1760] =========================================