ERIC Number: ED102821
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1973-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Some Reflections on Vowel Harmony. Working Papers on Language Universals, No. 12.
Conditions favoring the development of the three major types of vowel-harmony systems: horizontal, palatal, and labial are examined in terms of correlations between sonority, contiguity, or phonetic distance on the one hand and relative assimilability of vowels on the other. Broadly speaking, the less sonorous, the more contiguous, and the closer the vowel is in terms of articulatory features, the more likely it is to assimilate to the determining vowel. Investigation of the relative markedness of harmonic grades shows that the feature values: tense, low, front, and unrounded, are unmarked vis-a-vis their respective marked counterparts: lax, high, back, and rounded, leading to the conclusion that marked feature values tend to assimilate to the corresponding unmarked values. Among the three primary dimensions, labiality is most marked, then palatality, followed by the least marked, horizontality. Neutral vowels are also briefly discussed. (Author)
Publication Type: Books
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Stanford Univ., CA. Committee on Linguistics.