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Re: vowel harmony

From:Thomas Hart Chappell <tomhchappell@...>
Date:Friday, December 9, 2005, 20:47
On Mon, 5 Dec 2005 19:58:36 -0000, caotope <johnvertical@...> wrote:

>--- In conlang@yahoogroups.com, Tom Chappell wrote: > [snip] >> On pp. 291-295, section 10.9 "Nasal Vocoid Articulation", Laver says >> there are two degrees of nasality of vocoids in the Applecross >> dialect of Scottish Gaelic. But his best evidence is in Palantla >> Chinantec an Otomanguean Mesoamerican language -- he quotes a >> reference whith a minimal triplet, ?e 'leach', ?e~ 'count', ?e~~ >> 'chase', all identical in tone. He also mentions Breton and Bengali >> as well. > >Do you know what're the articulatory phonetics in play at here? Is it >just about the degree of lowering of the velum or something more devious?
Laver says: "... there is evidence from combined acoustic and cineradiographic research that slight and heavy nasality is correlated with velic adjustments producing different cross-sectional areas of the velopharyngeal opening into the nasal cavity. Bjork (1961) showed that slight nasality correlated with a cross-sectional area of about 60 square millimeters, compared with areas of some 250 square millimeters for heavy nasality." Bjork (1961) is L. Bjork, (note that should be o-umlaut), 'Velopharyngeal function in connected speech. Studies using tomography and cineradiography synchronized with speech spectrography.' Acta Radiologica (Stockholm), supplement no. 202. --- Tom H.C. in MI