|From:||Nik Taylor <fortytwo@...>|
|Date:||Monday, January 22, 2001, 8:05|
Mario Bonassin wrote:
> I read mention vowel harmony. I was wondering if anyone can tell me
> what that is and how it works.
Well, basically it means that all the vowels in a word must be similar
in some way. For instance, it may be that all vowels must be of the
same backness, e.g., all front or all back. So, for instance, one might
have a word like _kunoka_ but not *_kuneka_. This means that suffixes
occur in multiple forms (depending on the details of the vowel harmony
rule). For instance, in one where they must be the same backness, you
might have a suffix with variations -to and -tö, so that _kunoka_ with
that suffix would be _kunokato_, while _temisä_ would be _temisätö_.
Another possibility is that all vowels must be rounded or unrounded.
Some languages require more than one feature to be in common, like, all
vowels must be of the same backness *and* roundedness. There are
languages also that have harmony with nasalization, e.g., all vowels
must be nasalized or all vowels must be unnasalized. Some languages
with harmony only require that suffixes harmonize with the final vowel
in the word. Originally, they had complete vowel harmony, but sound
changes and/or borrowings created words whose vowels aren't harmonized.
AIM Screen-Name: NikTaylor42