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ATR- + vowel-harmony (Re: No Subject)

From:taliesin the storyteller <taliesin-conlang@...>
Date:Saturday, February 28, 2004, 21:06
Hmpf, watch your subjects.

* said on 2004-02-28 20:51:16 +0100
> > I'm revamping one of my old languages, Gweydr, and turning it into > a, well, good language. Since I had originally intended it to be a > vowel harmony language (before I actually knew what this was), I > decided to do two things I'd wanted to do with vowel > harmony: (1) Create a Finno-Ugric-type vowel harmony system, *and* > (2) create an [ATR] vowel harmony system.
/snip vowel-harmony/
> I'm having some problems with the ATR system, though. I've run into > this problem with the low vowels. Low vowels are pretty much > always transcribed as [-ATR]. This in itself isn't a problem, as > the two could be opaque to [ATR] harmony. *However*, when they > came word initially, this means they would cause [-ATR] harmony to > spread. So, if you had: > k&nelymi > It would surface as: > k&nElYmI > I don't like this, and I don't want it. I want low vowels to > *not* spread [ATR]-ness at *all*.
Why not do like Akan (language of Ghana) and have the low vowels be neutral as to ATR? Historically, the lone low vowel in Akan did have both an ATR+ and an ATR- version, but that is no longer the case. Then over to part two, will the neutral vowel block or pass through ATR-ness? I can't remember what Akan does but here are examples: Blocking, spreading rightwards == spreading leftwards kitakut atr + 0 - Passing, spreading rightwards kitakut atr + 0 + Passing, spreading leftwards kitakut atr - 0 - t.