Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Re: harmony

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. -- ICQ: 18656696 AIM Screen-Name: NikTaylor42