Linguistics Vowel Harmony
by
Harry van der Hulst
  • LAST MODIFIED: 28 October 2011
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199772810-0087

Introduction

We speak of vowel harmony when there is a general condition that demands that all vowels within a certain domain, usually the word, must agree in one or more than one phonological property. This condition is manifested in the facts that vowels within morphemes display agreement and that, when morphemes are combined into complex words, all vowels of these various morphemes will agree. In the most typical case, the vowels of affixes vary in the relevant phonological property or properties depending on the base with which they are combined. This means that the bases (roots, stems) are invariant and control the harmony. Vowel harmony can be understood as an unbounded form of phonological assimilation or agreement, and as such it forms a subclass of a broader phenomenon that also includes unbounded harmony among consonants or among consonants and vowels as well as forms of assimilation that are limited to adjacent segments. This bibliography only covers the subclass of vowel harmony.

Introductory Works

All major linguistics encyclopedias also contain entries about vowel harmony. Useful longer general introductions include Anderson 1980, van der Hulst and van de Weijer 1995, Archangeli and Pulleyblank 2007, Krämer 2003, Gafos and Dye 2011, and Rose and Walker 2011. All offer specific discussion of one the central issues in vowel harmony—the behavior and analysis of so-called neutral vowels (see Neutral Vowels Transparency, Opacity and Locality)—as well as of most other issues for which we give some more specific references in separate sections.

  • Anderson, Stephen R. 1980. Problems and perspectives in the description of vowel harmony. In Issues in vowel harmony. Edited by Robert M. Vago, 1–48. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

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    A thoughtful discussion of segmental and autosegmental approaches to vowel harmony.

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    • Archangeli, Diana B., and Douglas Pulleyblank. 2007. Harmony. In The Cambridge handbook of phonology. Edited by Paul deLacy, 353–378. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

      DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511486371.016Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

      A general overview of harmony processes (including consonant harmony) with specific attention to the formal properties of rules and conditions on triggers and targets.

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      • Gafos, Adamantios I., and Amanda Dye. 2011. Vowel harmony: Transparent and opaque vowels. In The Blackwell companion to phonology. Vol. 4. Edited by Marc van Oostendorp, Colin J. Ewen, Elizabeth Hume, and Keren Rice, 2164–2189. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.

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        A general overview of vowel harmony processes with specific reference to the phonetic basis of this process.

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        • Krämer, Martin. 2003. Vowel harmony and correspondence theory. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

          DOI: 10.1515/9783110197310Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

          Chapter 1 of this work contains a general overview of vowel harmony processes and relevant issues.

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          • Rose, Sharon, and Rachel Walker. 2011. Harmony systems. In Handbook of phonological theory. 2d ed. Edited by John Goldmsith, Alan Yu, and Jason Riggle, 240–290. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell.

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            A very detailed review of vowel and consonant harmony processes with many examples and illustrations of different approaches.

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            • van der Hulst, Harry, and Jeroen van de Weijer. 1995. Vowel harmony. In The handbook of phonological theory. Edited by John A. Goldsmith, 495–534. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell.

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              A general overview of vowel harmony processes and various formalisms.

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              Edited Collections

              The literature on vowel harmony is vast, but few specific collections exist that are entirely or mostly devoted to this subject. All contributions in Vago 1980 are on vowel harmony, and so are most chapters in van der Hulst and Smith 1988.

              • Vago, Robert M., ed. 1980. Issues in vowel harmony. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

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                An important collection with a mix of theoretical perspective and case studies.

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                • van der Hulst, Harry, and Norval Smith, eds. 1988. Features, segmental structure, and harmony processes. 2 vols. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Foris.

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                  Two volumes with articles on segmental structure and various in-depth case studies of vowel harmony systems.

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                  Typological Studies or Sources with Analyses of Multiple Languages

                  Early typological overviews or typologies are Ultan 1973 and Aoki 1968. Overviews of specific families or regions are in Ard 1981; Hall, et al. 1974; Jacobson 1980; and Hattori 1982.

                  • Aoki, Haruo. 1968. Toward a typology of vowel harmony. International Journal of American Linguistics 34:142–145.

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                    A brief classical overview of various harmony types.

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                    • Ard, Josh. 1981. A sketch of vowel harmony in the Tungus languages. In Studies in the languages of the USSR. Edited by Bernard Comrie, 23–43. Carbondale, IL: Linguistic Research.

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                      A discussion of vowel harmony with specific reference to Tungusic languages.

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                      • Hall, Beatrice L., R. M. R. Hall, Martin D. Pam, Amy Myers, Stephen A. Antell, and Godfrey K. Cherono. 1974. African vowel harmony systems from the vantage point of Kalenjin. Afrika und Übersee 57:241–267

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                        A discussion of vowel harmony with specific reference to African languages and the recognition of dominant harmony.

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                        • Hattori, Shiro. 1982. Vowel harmonies of the Altaic languages, Korean, and Japanese. Acta Orientalia Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae 36:207–214.

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                          A discussion of vowel harmony with specific reference to Altaic languages.

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                          • Jacobson, Leon C. 1980. Voice quality harmony in western Nilotic languages. In Issues in vowel harmony. Edited by Robert Vago, 183–200. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

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                            A discussion of vowel harmony with specific reference to Nilotic languages.

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                            • Ultan, Russell. 1973. Some reflections on vowel harmony. Stanford Working Papers on Language Universals 12:37–67.

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                              A broad, well-documented typological overview of harmony types.

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                              Detailed Case Studies

                              Among palatal systems, which are prevalent in the Finno-Ugric and Altaic languages, Hungarian and Turkish have received a lot of attention. Törkenczy 2011 reviews the literature on Hungarian, while Kabak 2011 does the same for Turkish. Li 1996 and Zhang 1996 offer detailed descriptions and analyses of Tungusic languages. For these see also Ard 1984. Various advanced tongue root (ATR) systems are described in Akinlabi 1997, Kaye 1982, and Archangeli and Pulleyblank 1989.

                              • Akinlabi, Akinbiyi. 1997. Kalabari vowel harmony. Linguistic Review 14:97–138.

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                                A detailed study using underspecification theory.

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                                • Anderson, Lloyd B. 1980. Using asymmetrical and gradient data in the study of vowel harmony. In Issues in vowel harmony. Edited by Robert Vago, 271–340. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

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                                  A detailed study providing an overview of irregularities and relevance morphological structure.

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                                  • Archangeli, Diana B., and Douglas Pulleyblank. 1989. Yoruba vowel harmony. Linguistic Inquiry 20:173–217.

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                                    A detailed study using underspecification theory.

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                                    • Ard, Josh. 1984. Vowel harmony in Manchu: A critical overview. Journal of Linguistics 20:57–80.

                                      DOI: 10.1017/S0022226700009853Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                      An important descriptive overview of various vowel harmony systems.

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                                      • Kabak, Barış. 2011. Turkish vowel harmony. In The Blackwell companion to phonology. Vol. 5. Edited by Marc van Oostendorp, Colin J. Ewen, Elizabeth Hume, and Keren Rice, 2831–2854. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.

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                                        A thorough review of the facts and relevant literature.

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                                        • Kaye, Jonathan. 1982. Vowel harmony in Vata. In The structure of phonological representations, Part II. Edited by Harry G. van der Hulst and Norval Smith, 385–452. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Foris.

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                                          A government phonology–style analysis.

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                                          • Li, Bing. 1996. Tungusic vowel harmony: Description and analysis. PhD diss., Univ. of Amsterdam.

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                                            A very detailed theoretical and empirical study of Tungusic vowel harmony. Published as HIL Dissertations 18 (The Hague: Holland Academic Graphics).

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                                            • Paster, Mary. 2004. Vowel height harmony and blocking in Buchan Scots. Phonology 21:359–407.

                                              DOI: 10.1017/S0952675704000314Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                              A case study of vowel harmony in Buchan Scots with attention to blocking by voiced obstruents and certain consonant clusters containing obstruents.

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                                              • Törkenczy, Miklós. 2011. Hungarian vowel harmony. In The Blackwell companion to phonology. Vol. 5. Edited by Marc van Oostendorp, Colin J. Ewen, Elizabeth Hume, and Keren Rice, 2963–2989. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.

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                                                A thorough review of the facts and relevant literature.

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                                                • Walker, Rachel. 2001. Round licensing, harmony, and bisyllabic triggers in Altaic. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 19:827–878.

                                                  DOI: 10.1023/A:1013349100242Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                  Case studies of vowel harmony in Classical Manchu and Oroqen with attention to a requirement for bisyllabic triggers.

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                                                  • Zhang, Xi. 1996. Vowel systems of the Manchu-Tungus languages of China. PhD diss., Univ. of Toronto.

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                                                    A very detailed study of vowel harmony in the Manchu-Tungusic languages with specific reference to the analysis of vowel systems.

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                                                    Harmony

                                                    We find harmony for all properties that in general distinguish vowels from each other (see Lindau 1978). All the overviews cited under Introductory Works contain surveys of harmony types and examples. “Palatal harmony” refers to agreement in terms of the front-back axis (for Altaic and Uralic languages, see Vago 1973), “labial harmony” to agreement for lip rounding (see Kaun 1995), and “tongue root harmony” to agreement for the position of the tongue root. The latter type, which also involves a relative difference in the position of the tongue body, was once called “cross-height harmony” but was revealed in Stewart 1967 as involving the position of the tongue influencing the size of the pharyngeal cavity. Whether all harmony that seems to involve height or aperture now falls in this category is debated, and many researchers still distinguish agreement for height or aperture as a separate category of vowel harmony. Clements 1991 proposes to unify all tongue root and height harmony in one class of aperture harmony. Kim 1978 looks at so-called diagonal vowel harmony, which seems to be based on tongue root retraction. Remaining types of harmony involve the property of nasality (not covered in this bibliography) and, rarely, retroflexion (r-coloring, rhoticization), established in Yurok. Krämer 2003 pays specific attention to cases in which several harmonies co-occur in the same language, the so-called multiple harmony systems.

                                                    • Clements, G. N. 1991. Vowel height assimilation in Bantu languages. Paper presented at the 17th Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society, 15–18 February 1991. In Special Session on African Language Structures. Edited by K. Hubbard, 25–64. Berkeley, CA: Berkeley Linguistics Society.

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                                                      A review and analysis of vowel height (lowering) harmony in Bantu languages within an autosegmental, feature-geometric framework, with a specific proposal for aperture features.

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                                                      • Kaun, Abigail. 1995. The typology of rounding harmony: An optimality theoretic approach. PhD diss., Univ. of California, Los Angeles.

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                                                        A theoretical discussion of labial harmony systems (specificially in Turkic, Mongolian, and Tungusic languages) providing a typology within the model of optimality theory. Published as UCLA Dissertations in Linguistics 8 (ROA-227).

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                                                        • Kim, Chin Wu. 1978. “Diagonal” vowel harmony? Some implications for historical phonology. In Recent developments in historical phonology. Edited by Jacek Fisiak, 221–236. The Hague: Mouton.

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                                                          Describes a retraction type of harmony.

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                                                          • Krämer, Martin. 2003. Vowel harmony and correspondence theory. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

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                                                            Chapter 1 of this work pays specific attention to combinations of harmonies that do or do not occur.

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                                                            • Lindau, Mona. 1978. Vowel features. Language 54.3: 541–564.

                                                              DOI: 10.2307/412786Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                              Provides a general discussion of vowel features and their phonetic correlates.

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                                                              • Stewart, John M. 1967. Tongue root position in Akan vowel harmony. Phonetica 16:185–204.

                                                                DOI: 10.1159/000258568Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                The first recognition of tongue root position as a relevant distinction for vowel harmony, until this time often called cross-height harmony.

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                                                                • Vago, Robert. 1973. Abstract vowel harmony systems in Uralic and Altaic languages. Language 49:579–605.

                                                                  DOI: 10.2307/412352Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                  A discussion of vowel harmony systems with specific reference to the issue of abstractness.

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                                                                  Parasitic Harmony

                                                                  It frequently happens that harmony applies only between vowels that already share a property, either lexically or due to another harmony process. The former case occurs in Yawelmani, where rounding occurs between vowels of equal height; see Archangeli 1984. In many Turkic languages labial harmony is dependent on palatal harmony; see Kaun 1995. Cole and Trigo 1988 offers a general discussion.

                                                                  • Archangeli, Diana. 1984. Underspecification in Yawelmani phonology and morphology. PhD diss., Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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                                                                    An influential proposal for radical underspecification and a detailed analysis of Yawelmani vowel harmony.

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                                                                    • Cole, Jennifer, and Loren Trigo. 1988. Parasitic harmony. In Features, segmental structure, and harmony processes. Part 2. Edited by Harry van der Hulst and Norval Smith, 19–38. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Foris.

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                                                                      An overview of various cases in which vowel harmony presupposes likeness in some other respect.

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                                                                      • Kaun, Abigail. 1995. The typology of rounding harmony: An optimality theoretic approach. PhD diss., Univ. of California, Los Angeles.

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                                                                        An extensive study discussing, among others, the dependencies between palatal and labial harmony. Published as UCLA Dissertations in Linguistics 8 (ROA-227).

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                                                                        • Mester, R. Armin. 1986. Studies in tier structure. PhD diss., Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst.

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                                                                          Presents a formal model in which dependencies can hold between tiers.

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                                                                          Root-Control and Dominant Systems

                                                                          In many vowel harmony systems root vowels are invariant and affixes adapt. These systems are called root-control vowel harmony systems. There is another type of case in which one value of the harmonic feature is “dominant,” which means that if a word contains at least one morpheme (whether a root or affix) in which the vowel bears the dominant value, then all vowels will agree with the dominant value. The general works cited under Introductory Works discuss the difference. Halle and Vergnaud 1981 also offers a discussion of both types, whereas Bakovic 2000 analyzes this pattern in an optimality theoretic model. Also certain types of vowel harmony (see Umlaut and Metaphony) can be analyzed as being controlled by stress (see Stress).

                                                                          • Bakovic, Eric. 2000. Harmony, dominance, and control. PhD diss., Rutgers Univ.

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                                                                            Pays specific attention to the difference between dominant and root-controlled harmony and the analysis of this different within optimality theory. Available as ROA-360 at Rutgers Optimality Archive.

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                                                                            • Halle, Morris, and Jean-Roger Vergnaud. 1981. Harmony processes. In Crossing the boundaries in linguistics. Edited by Manfred Klein and Wolfgang Levelt, 1–22. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Reidel.

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                                                                              Proposes a specific approach to vowel harmony combining metrical and autosegmental formalisms.

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                                                                              Harmonic Domain

                                                                              The usual domain of vowel harmony is the word, often understood as a root/stem with affixes. Compounds often do not form one harmonic domain, and in limited cases the domain of vowel harmony may be larger than the word. See Archangeli and Pulleyblank 2002 for a discussion and references.

                                                                              Restricted Vowel Harmony

                                                                              Whereas the perfect case of vowel harmony shows participation of all vowels with a harmonic counterpart for each vowel, interesting challenges arise when vowels fail to harmonize. Both Archangeli and Pulleyblank 1994 and Nevins 2010 offer general perspectives on vowel harmony cases that involve constraints on triggers or targets.

                                                                              • Archangeli, Diana, and Douglas Pulleyblank. 1994. Grounded phonology. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

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                                                                                An extremely detailed and valuable study of vowel harnmony systems using grounded (i.e., phonetically motivated) constraints.

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                                                                                • Nevins, Andrew. 2010. Locality in vowel harmony. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

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                                                                                  A formal analysis of vowel harmony with a specific set of proposals for dealing with restricted systems.

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                                                                                  Metaphony

                                                                                  In the literature on Romance languages one often encounters the term “metaphony” for some form of vowel harmony, usually affecting the height dimension and often including an accented or stressed vowel. Calabrese 2011 is the best source. A notorious case is that of Pasiego (see, for example, McCarthy 1984). Hualde 1989 and Walker 2011 review some cases in Spanish, whereas Maiden 1991 deals with Italian systems.

                                                                                  • Calabrese, Andrea. 2011. Metaphony in Romance. In The Blackwell companion to phonology. Vol. 5. Edited by Marc van Oostendorp, Colin J. Ewen, Elizabeth Hume, and Keren Rice, 2631–2661. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.

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                                                                                    This work offers a review of metaphony in Romance languages. The other works in this section offer case studies from Spanish and Italian dialects.

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                                                                                    • Hualde, José Ignacio. 1989. Autosegmental and metrical spreading in the vowel-harmony systems of northwestern Spain. Linguistics 27:773–805.

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                                                                                      This article discusses the interaction of autosegmental spreading and metrical domains.

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                                                                                      • Maiden, Martin. 1991. Interactive morphonology: Metaphony in Italy. London: Routledge.

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                                                                                        A basic source on metaphony processes in Italian dialects.

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                                                                                        • McCarthy, John J. 1984. Theoretical consequences of Montañes vowel harmony. Linguistic Inquiry 15:291–318.

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                                                                                          A classic study of this intricate case, which involves two harmonies.

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                                                                                          • Walker, Rachel. 2011. Vowel patterns in language. New York: Cambridge Univ. Press.

                                                                                            DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511973710Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                            This book provides analyses of metaphony in a number of Romance languages. It also treats umlaut in modern German and the role of stress in other vowel harmony systems.

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                                                                                            Umlaut

                                                                                            A phenomenon that is closely related to vowel harmony is umlaut, which usually refers to a more local type of agreement among vowels, often affecting an accented or stressed vowel. A study of umlaut is McCormick 1981. Klein 2000 offers studies within optimality theory.

                                                                                            • Klein, Thomas B. 2000. Umlaut in optimality theory: A comparative analysis of German and Chamorro. Linguistische Arbeiten 416. Tübingen, Germany: Niemeyer.

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                                                                                              An optimality theory analysis of umlaut in German and Chamorro.

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                                                                                              • McCormick, Susan M. 1981. A metrical analysis of umlaut. Cornell Working Papers in Linguistics 2:127–137.

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                                                                                                Examines umlaut in German in relation to stress typology.

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                                                                                                Phonetic Basis

                                                                                                A possible hypothesis concerning the emergence of vowel harmony is this: Within a domain containing several vowels, contrastive options may be neutralized in all positions save one—perhaps, historically, the accented or stressed position. Where vowel contrast is lost, we either get reduced schwa-like vowels, or vowel-to-vowel coarticulation fills the “void” so that vowel harmony is the result (Ohala 1994). Przezdziecki 2005 investigates the relation between vowel harmony and coarticulation in detail. Suomi 1983 studies the perceptual bases and function of vowel harmony.

                                                                                                • Fowler, C. A. 1981. Production and perception of coarticulation among stressed and unstressed vowels. Journal of Speech and Hearing Research 46:127–139.

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                                                                                                  Provides the basis for seeing an influence from stressed vowels on unstressed vowels.

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                                                                                                  • Ohala, J. J. 1994. Towards a universal, phonetically-based, theory of vowel harmony. In ICSLP 94: 1994 International Conference on Spoken Language Processing, September 18–22, 1994, Pacific Convention Plaza Yokohama (PACIFICO), Yokohama, Japan, 491–494. Kobe, Japan: Acoustical Society of Japan.

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                                                                                                    A clear statement of the hypothesis that vowel harmony is phonetically based.

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                                                                                                    • Przezdziecki, Marek. 2005. Vowel harmony and coarticulation in three dialects of Yoruba: Phonetics determining phonology. PhD diss., Cornell Univ.

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                                                                                                      A detailed case study of vowel-to-vowel coarticulation and its relation to vowel harmony.

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                                                                                                      • Suomi, Kari. 1983. Palatal vowel harmony: A perceptually motivated phenomenon? Nordic Journal of Linguistics 6:1–35.

                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1017/S0332586500000949Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                        A different, perceptually based view on the phonetic grounding of vowel harmony.

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                                                                                                        Stress

                                                                                                        Vowel harmony is sometimes taken to be an accentual phenomenon, and its origin may well be related to accent or stress; see Majors 1998. At the same time, vowel harmony may be interrelated with stress, as claimed for Hungarian in Kontra and Ringen 1987. The works in this section examine the role of stress placement in the manner in which loanwords are integrated in the harmony system.

                                                                                                        • Kabak, Bariş, and Irene Vogel. 2011. Exceptions to stress and harmony in Turkish: Cophonologies or prespecification? In Expecting the unexpected: Exceptions in grammar. Edited by Horst Simon and Heike Wiese. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

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                                                                                                          A discussion of correlations between stress behavior of morphemes, stress location, and vowel harmony.

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                                                                                                          • Kontra, Miklós, and Catherine Ringen. 1987. Stress and harmony in Hungarian loanwords. In Studien zur Phonologie und Morphonologie der Uralische Sprachen. Edited by Károly Redei, 81–96. Vienna: Verband der wissenschaftlichen Gesellschaften Österreichs.

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                                                                                                            A specific discussion of stress and vowel harmony in loanwords.

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                                                                                                            • Majors, Tivoli. 1998. Stress-dependent vowel harmony: Phonological analysis and phonetic explanation. PhD diss., Univ. of Texas at Austin.

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                                                                                                              An important work that examines the historical role of stress placement in vowel harmony and specifically metaphony-type processes.

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                                                                                                              Diachronic Change

                                                                                                              Many studies focus on the emergence or loss of (regular) vowel harmony patterns. Advanced tongue root (ATR) systems often have shown mergers of harmonic pairs. Such change may lead to neutral vowels or to reanalysis of the system. Ford 1973 and Williamson 1983–1984 discuss changes in ATR systems. Hyman 1999 discusses height harmony processes in Bantu. Ford 1973 and Williamson 1983–1984 show how ATR-based systems acquire restriction to subclasses of vowels.

                                                                                                              • Ford, Kevin C. 1973. On the loss of cross‑height vowel harmony. Research Review Ghana, supp., 4:50–80.

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                                                                                                                On diacronic developments involving the merger of high and low vowels in ATR systems.

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                                                                                                                • Hyman, Larry M. 1999. The historical interpretation of vowel harmony in Bantu. In Bantu historical linguistics: Theoretical and empirical perspectives. Edited by Jean-Marie Hombert and Larry M. Hyman, 235–295. Stanford, CA: Center for the Study of Language and Information.

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                                                                                                                  An important study with many illustrations.

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                                                                                                                  • Kim, Chin Wu. 1978. “Diagonal” vowel harmony? Some implications for historical phonology. In Recent developments in historical phonology. Edited by J. Fisiak, 221–236. The Hague: Mouton.

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                                                                                                                    Examples of retraction-type harmonies that are obscured by vowel shifts.

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                                                                                                                    • Svantesson, Jan-Olof. 1985. Vowel harmony shift in Mongolian. Lingua 67:283–327.

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                                                                                                                      A very interesting study of the reinterpretation of a palatal system as an ATR system.

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                                                                                                                      • Williamson, Kay. 1983–1984. Vowel merger in harmony languages. Journal of the Linguistics Association of Nigeria 2:61–82.

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                                                                                                                        On diachronic developments involving the merger of high and low vowels in ATR systems.

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                                                                                                                        Learnability and Computational Modeling

                                                                                                                        Ellison 1992; Pycha, et al. 2003; and Mailhot 2010 study vowel harmony from the viewpoint of language acquisition. Finley 2008 measures responses to natural and unnatural rules or patterns. Several studies on this topic propose computer learning models.

                                                                                                                        • Ellison, T. Mark. 1992. Discovering vowel harmony. In Background and experiments in machine learning of natural language. Edited by Walter Daelemans and David Powers. Tilburg, The Netherlands: Tilburg Univ. Institute for Language Technology and Artificial Intelligence.

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                                                                                                                          A classic study in applying computational learning models to vowel harmony.

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                                                                                                                          • Finley, Sara. 2008. Formal and cognitive restrictions on vowel harmony. PhD diss., Johns Hopkins Univ.

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                                                                                                                            This study shows that learners are biased toward harmony patterns that are frequently occurring and phonetically natural but biased against rare or nonexistent patterns.

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                                                                                                                            • Hayes, Bruce, and Zsuzsa Cziráky Londe. 2006. Stochiastic phonological knowledge: The case of Hungarian vowel harmony. Phonology 23:59–104.

                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1017/S0952675706000765Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                              A detailed study of factors that determine the choice of alternants.

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                                                                                                                              • Mailhot, Frédéric. 2010. Modelling the acquisition and evolution of vowel harmony. PhD diss., Carlton Univ.

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                                                                                                                                This thesis is a computational investigation of the mechanisms by which vowel harmony may be acquired by learners in a synchronic setting and evolve diachronically from a preharmonic stage.

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                                                                                                                                • Pycha, Anne, P. Nowak, E. Shin, and R. Shosted. 2003. Phonological rule-learning and its implications for a theory of vowel harmony. In WCCFL 22: Proceedings of the West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics. Edited by Gina Garding and Mimi Tsujimura, 423–435. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla.

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                                                                                                                                  Discusses experiments showing that the pattern that least resembled a well-formed grammatical process was the process that learners had the most difficulty learning.

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                                                                                                                                  Psychological Reality

                                                                                                                                  Zimmer 1969 and Campbell 1980 are examples of studies in which vowel harmony is evaluated as being “real” to speakers. Some of these studies, such as Suomi, et al. 1997 and Vroomen, et al. 1998, make specific reference to the role of vowel harmony in speech segmentation.

                                                                                                                                  • Campbell, Lloyd B. 1980. The psychological and sociological reality of Finnish vowel harmony. In Issues in vowel harmony. Edited by Robert M. Vago, 245–270. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

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                                                                                                                                    Campbell examines the status of vowel harmony with specific reference to the (potentially damaging) role of exceptional pattern.

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                                                                                                                                    • Suomi, Kari, James McQueen, and Anne Cutler. 1997. Vowel harmony and speech segmentation in Finnish. Journal of Memory and Language 36:422–444.

                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1006/jmla.1996.2495Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                      This experimental study discusses the role of vowel harmony in speech segmentation.

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                                                                                                                                      • Vroomen, Jean, Jyrki Tuomainen, and Beatrice de Gelder. 1998. The roles of word stress and vowel harmony in speech segmentation. Journal of Memory and Language 38:133–149.

                                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1006/jmla.1997.2548Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                        This study discusses the role of word stress and vowel harmony in speech segmentation.

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                                                                                                                                        • Zimmer, Karl. 1969. Psychological correlates of some Turkish morpheme structure conditions. Language 45:309–321.

                                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.2307/411662Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                          Zimmer discusses the psychological reality of root-internal harmony.

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                                                                                                                                          Theoretical Approaches

                                                                                                                                          The theoretical analysis of vowel harmony poses special challenges for any theory of phonology. In generative phonology, vowel harmony raised various issues concerning rule application and variables.

                                                                                                                                          Firthian

                                                                                                                                          Given its suprasegmental appearance, vowel harmony has been interesting for the Firthian school; see Carnochan 1970 for an example.

                                                                                                                                          • Carnochan, Jack. 1970. Vowel harmony in Igbo. In Prosodic analysis. Edited by Frank R. Palmer, 222–229. Oxford: Oxord Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                            A classic illustration of the Firthian model. Originally published in African Language Studies 1 (1960).

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                                                                                                                                            Autosegmental Approach

                                                                                                                                            Clements 1976 developed the autosegmental analysis of vowel harmony, and numerous studies applied this model to a variety of languages. Some articles (van der Hulst 1985, Vago 1980) compare the autosegmental approach to the earlier segmental approach.

                                                                                                                                            • Clements, G. N. 1976. Vowel harmony in nonlinear generative phonology: An autosegmental model. Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Linguistics Club.

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                                                                                                                                              The classic exploration of vowel harmony within an autosegmental model.

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                                                                                                                                              • Vago, Robert. 1980. A critique of suprasegmental theories of vowel harmony. In Issues on vowel harmony. Edited by Robert Vago, 155–183. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

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                                                                                                                                                In this article the author argues against an autosegmental approach to vowel harmony.

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                                                                                                                                                • van der Hulst, Harry. 1985. Vowel harmony in Hungarian: A comparison of segmental and autosegmental analyses. In Advances in nonlinear phonology. Edited by Harry van der Hulst and Norval Smith, 267–303. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Foris.

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                                                                                                                                                  This study compares sound pattern of English (SPE)–style analyses with an autosegmental approach with a focus on the treatment of neutral vowels and different types of roots containing these vowels.

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                                                                                                                                                  Linear Generative Phonology

                                                                                                                                                  Following the model of Chomsky and Halle 1968, numerous studies and dissertations have been written in which, based on one or a variety of languages, theoretical issues are central, mostly dealing with rule application (iterativity, directionality, cyclicity, the use of variable, and so forth) and underspecification. Tohsaku 1983 offers an original approach that explores a novel notation for iterative rules.

                                                                                                                                                  Government Phonology and Dependency Phonology

                                                                                                                                                  Within the model of government phonology, several studies of vowel harmony have been produced that focus on the interaction between segment licensing constraint and vowel harmony (Charette and Göksel 1998, Ritter 1999). Harris 1994 discusses the specific use of monovalent features. Analyses using dependency phonology are provided in Anderson and Durand 1988 and van der Hulst 1988. Backley and Takahashi 1996 offers a novel proposal in which vowel harmony is not represented as a spreading process.

                                                                                                                                                  • Anderson, John, and Jacques Durand. 1988. Vowel harmony and non-specification in Nez Perce. In Features, segmental structure, and harmony processes. Part 2. Edited by Harry van der Hulst and Norval Smith, 1–18. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Foris.

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                                                                                                                                                    Discusses the use of underspecification in a unary feature system.

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                                                                                                                                                    • Backley, Phillip, and Toyomi Takahashi. 1996. Activate α: Harmony without spreading. University College London Working Papers in Linguistics 8:487–518.

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                                                                                                                                                      This work proposes a new account of vowel harmony within the context of government phonology.

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                                                                                                                                                      • Charette, Monik, and Asli Göksel. 1998. Licensing constraints and vowel harmony in Turkic languages. In Structure and interpretation: Studies in phonology. Edited by Eugeniusz Cyran, 65–88. Lublin, Poland: Folium.

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                                                                                                                                                        Discusses the role of intrasegmental licensing constraints in vowel harmony. Also published in SOAS Working Papers in Linguistics 6 (1996): 1–26.

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                                                                                                                                                        • Harris, John. 1994. English sound structure. Oxford and Cambridge, MA: Blackwell.

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                                                                                                                                                          A clear introduction to government phonology with specific discussion of the elements.

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                                                                                                                                                          • Ritter, N. A. 1999. The effect of intrasegmental licensing conditions on elemental spreading. In Issues in phonological structure. Edited by S. J. Hannahs and Mike Davenport, 55–74. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

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                                                                                                                                                            A principled account of vowel harmony processes based on licensing.

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                                                                                                                                                            • van der Hulst, Harry G. 1988. The geometry of vocalic features. In Features, segmental structure, and harmony processes. Part 1. Edited by Harry van der Hulst and Norval Smith, 77–126. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Foris .

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                                                                                                                                                              An extensive discussion of various types of vowel harmony using unary elements and dependency.

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                                                                                                                                                              Grounded Phonology

                                                                                                                                                              Archangeli and Pulleyblank 1994 contains a wealth of analysis of vowel harmony systems. Its impact was unfortunately dampened by the rise of optimality theory.

                                                                                                                                                              • Archangeli, Diana, and Douglas Pulleyblank. 1994. Grounded phonology. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                An extremely detailed and valuable study of vowel harmony systems introducing the role of grounded (i.e., phonetically motivated) constraints.

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                                                                                                                                                                Optimality Theory

                                                                                                                                                                Within the framework of optimality theory (OT), several articles and dissertations on vowel harmony are available that either develop how vowel harmony is done in this model or focus on specific issues. Krämer 2003 is a published book based on a dissertation. Bakovic 2000, Benus 2005, Finley 2008, and Jurgec 2011 are all unpublished.

                                                                                                                                                                • Bakovic, Eric. 2000. Harmony, dominance, and control. PhD diss., Rutgers Univ.

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                                                                                                                                                                  Offers a novel analysis of the distinction between stem-controlled and dominant-recessive vowel harmony processes. Available as ROA-360 at Rutgers Optimality Archive.

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                                                                                                                                                                  • Benus, Stefan. 2005. Dynamics and transparency in vowel harmony. PhD diss., New York Univ.

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                                                                                                                                                                    Provides phonetic evidence leading to the conclusion that transparent vowels participate in vowel harmony in Hungarian.

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                                                                                                                                                                    • Finley, Sara. 2008. Formal and cognitive constraints on vowel harmony. PhD diss., Johns Hopkins Univ.

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                                                                                                                                                                      Demonstrates that language learners are biased to learn harmony patterns that are frequently occurring and phonetically natural.

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                                                                                                                                                                      • Jurgec, Peter. 2011. Feature spreading 2.0: A unified theory of assimilation. PhD diss., Univ. of Tromsø.

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                                                                                                                                                                        Proposes a new formalism for feature spreading using binary branching trees.

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                                                                                                                                                                        • Krämer, Martin. 2003. Vowel harmony and correspondence theory. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

                                                                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1515/9783110197310Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                          Proposes a new constraint to deal with transparent vowels based on the notion of balance.

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                                                                                                                                                                          • Polgárdi, Krisztina. 1998. Vowel harmony: An account in terms of government and optimality. PhD diss., HIL/Leiden Univ.

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                                                                                                                                                                            This work combines government phonology–style representation with OT-style constraint ranking. Published as LOT International Series 3 (The Hague: Holland Academic Graphics).

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                                                                                                                                                                            • Sasa, Tomomasa. 2009. Treatments of vowel harmony in optimality theory. PhD diss., Univ. of Iowa.

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                                                                                                                                                                              This dissertation reviews different approaches to vowel harmony in OT and compares their adequacy. It also is relevant to the topic of directionality.

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                                                                                                                                                                              • Smolensky, Paul. 2006. Optimality in phonology II: Harmonic completeness, local constraint conjunction, and feature-domain markedness. In The harmonic mind: From neural computation to optimality-theoretic grammar. Vol. 2. Edited by Paul Smolensky and Géraldine Legendre, 27–160. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                A foundational analysis of vowel harmony in Lango.

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                                                                                                                                                                                Theoretical Issues

                                                                                                                                                                                The analysis of vowel harmony has raised specific theoretical issues regarding the nature of phonological representations (in particular the nature of phonological primes and their specification) and the formulation and application of rules or constraints. Most of these have received a lot of attention, especially with the model of generative phonology in its varieties.

                                                                                                                                                                                Feature Systems

                                                                                                                                                                                Many analyses of vowel harmony use the vowel features proposed in Chomsky and Halle 1968. In work following the model of feature geometry, these features have sometimes been replaced by unary labels, such as [coronal], [labial] (Clements and Hume 1995). Analyses using so-called unary features have been developed in various models, notably in dependency and government phonology (see Kaye, et al. 1985 and van der Hulst 1988).

                                                                                                                                                                                • Anderson, John, and Colin Ewen. 1987. Principles of dependency phonology. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511753442Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                  The second part of this important work contains a detailed introduction to and discussion of a system of monovalent features.

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                                                                                                                                                                                  • Chomsky, Noam, and Morris Halle. 1968. The sound pattern of English. New York: Harper and Row.

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                                                                                                                                                                                    This classic work contains a detailed discussion of a binary feature system.

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                                                                                                                                                                                    • Clements, G. N., and B. Hume. 1995. The internal organization of speech sounds. In The handbook of phonological theory. Edited by John A. Goldsmith, 245–306. Oxford: Blackwell.

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                                                                                                                                                                                      A review of segmental structure using intrasegmental feature groups (i.e., class node organization).

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                                                                                                                                                                                      • den Dikken, Marcel, and Harry van der Hulst. 1988. Segmental hierarchitecture. In Features, segmental structure, and harmony processes. Part 1. Edited by Harry van der Hulst and Norval Smith, 1–78. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Foris.

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                                                                                                                                                                                        A comparison of unary and binary feature systems, underspecification, and feature geometry.

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                                                                                                                                                                                        • Goad, Heather. 1993. On the configuration of height features. PhD diss., Univ. of Southern California.

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                                                                                                                                                                                          A detailed study of vowel height phenomena and a formal proposal for vowel height features.

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                                                                                                                                                                                          • Kaye, Jonathan, Jean Lowenstamm, and Jean-Roger Vergnaud. 1985. The internal structure of phonological elements: A theory of charm and government. Phonological Yearbook 2:305–328.

                                                                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1017/S0952675700000476Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                            A new proposal for unary features (elements).

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                                                                                                                                                                                            • Parkinson, Frederick. 1996. The representation of vowel height in phonology. PhD diss., Ohio State Univ.

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                                                                                                                                                                                              A detailed study of vowel height phenomena and a formal proposal for vowel height features.

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                                                                                                                                                                                              • van der Hulst, Harry G. 1988. The geometry of vocalic features. In Features, segmental structure, and harmony processes. Part 2. Edited by Harry G. van der Hulst and Norval Smith, 77–126. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Foris.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                An extensive demonstration of the use of unary features in the analysis of vowel harmony systems.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                Underspecification

                                                                                                                                                                                                In analyses using binary feature systems, affixes are frequently represented as being lexically unspecified for the harmonic feature. Ringen 1988 and Archangeli 1984 use underspecification in the context of analyses of vowel harmony. Steriade 1995 offers a detailed and principled discussion of underspecification.

                                                                                                                                                                                                • Archangeli, Diana. 1984. Underspecification in Yawelmani phonology and morphology. PhD diss., Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                  A classic study exploring Paul Kiparsky’s radical underspecification theory.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Ringen, Catherine. 1988. Vowel harmony: Theoretical implications. New York: Garland.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    A classic study of vowel harmony and derived environment effects using underspecification. Originally published in 1975.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Steriade, Donca. 1995. Underspecification and markedness. In The handbook of phonological theory. Edited by John Goldsmith, 114–174. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                      An overview of the issues in underspecification.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                      Neutral Vowels Transparency, Opacity and Locality

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Neutral vowels fail to harmonize because they lack a harmonic counterpart in the vowel system. Such vowels can act as “invisible nonparticipating” vowels (often called “transparent”), or they can block the propagation of the harmonic feature, in which case they are called “opaque.” Many different analyses in all frameworks have been offered that differ with regard to the issue of locality. An original approach to transparent vowels appealing to the notion of balance is in Krämer 2003 within an optimality theory framework (see Optimality Theory).

                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Archangeli, Diana B., and Douglas Pulleyblank. 2007. Harmony. In The Cambridge handbook of phonology. Edited by Paul deLacy, 353–378. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511486371.016Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Contains an overview of the issues.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Booij, Geert E. 1984. Neutral vowels and the autosegmental analysis of vowel harmony. Linguistics 22:629–641.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1515/ling.1984.22.5.629Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Uses a difference between segmental and autosegmental specification of features.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Demirdache, Hamida. 1988. Transparent vowels. In Features, segmental structure, and harmony processes. Part 2. Edited by Harry van der Hulst and Norval Smith, 39–76. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Foris.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                            Using government phonology, this paper proposes an original account of transparent vowels, making reference to the head or dependent status of elements.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Gafos, Adamantios I., and Amanda Dye. 2011. Vowel harmony: Transparent and opaque vowels. In The Blackwell companion to phonology. Vol. 4. Edited by Marc van Oostendorp, Colin J. Ewen, Elizabeth Hume, and Keren Rice, 2164–2189. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                              This study claims that so-called transparent vowels are phonetically affected.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Gick, Bryan, Douglas Pulleyblank, Fiona Campbell, and Ngessimo Mutaka. 2006. Low vowels and transparency in Kinande vowel harmony. Phonology 23:1–20.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1017/S0952675706000741Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                An important study showing that low vowels are not transparent.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Krämer, Martin. 2003. Vowel harmony and correspondence theory. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1515/9783110197310Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  This study discusses a wide variety of vowel harmony cases within optimality theory, introducing new constraints.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • O’Keefe, M. 2007. Transparency in span theory. In University of Massachusetts Occasional Papers in Linguistics 33: Papers in Optimality Theory 3. Edited by Leah Bateman, A. Werle, M. O’Keefe, and E. Reilly, 239–258. Amherst, MA: GLSA.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                    An account of transparency in a version of optimality theory.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Pulleyblank, Douglas. 1996. Neutral vowels in optimality theory: A comparison of Yoruba and Wolof. Canadian Journal of Linguistics 41:295–347.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                      An account of transparency in a version of optimality theory.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Ringen, Catherine. 1988. Transparency in Hungarian vowel harmony. Phonology 5.2: 327–342.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1017/S0952675700002335Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        An account of transparency in a version of optimality theory.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • van der Hulst, Harry G., and Norval Smith. 1986. On neutral vowels. In The phonological representation of suprasegmentals: Studies on African languages offered to John M. Stewart. Edited by Koen Bogers, Harry van der Hulst, and Maarten Mous, 233–279. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Foris.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                          This article proposes a theory that explains when neutral vowels are transparent or opaque.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Locality

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Given the general importance of locality in grammar, vowel harmony has provided an excellent arena for this issue in the area of phonology. Jensen and Stong-Jensen 1979 and Odden 1994 discuss locality issues in linear phonology. In nonlinear models, some propose that vowels can be skipped (violations of locality) (e.g., Nevins 2010), whereas others maintain strict locality (van der Hulst and Smith 1986). Gafos 1998 and Ní Chiosáin and Padgett 2001 claim that harmony is local and (phonetically) affects vowels that others see as being skipped.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Gafos, Adamantios. 1998. Eliminating long-distance spreading. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 16:223–278.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1023/A:1005968600965Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Argues that vowel harmony processes are strictly local and phonetically based.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Jensen, John T., and Margaret Stong‑Jensen. 1979. The relevancy condition and variables in phonology. Linguistic Analysis 5:125–160.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                              A classic discussion of the use of variables in sound pattern of English (SPE)–type approaches.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Nevins, Andrew. 2010. Locality in vowel harmony. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                In this work, processes are represented as a search procedure that can search long-distance (i.e., nonlocally) for the required information.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Ní Chiosáin, Máire, and Jaye Padgett. 2001. Markedness, segment realization, and locality in spreading. In Constraints and representations: Segmental phonology in optimality theory. Edited by Linda Lombardi, 118–156. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  This study also argues that vowel harmony processes are strictly local.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Odden, David. 1994. Adjacency parameters in phonology. Language 10:289–330.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.2307/415830Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    A classic discussion of the use of variables in sound pattern of English (SPE)–type approaches.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • van der Hulst, Harry, and Norval Smith. 1986. On neutral vowels. In The phonological representation of suprasegmentals. Edited by Koen Bogers, Harry van der Hulst, and Maarten Mous, 233–279. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Foris.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      This article proposes that whether neutral vowels act transparently or opaquely can be predicted from the nature of the vowel and the spreading element.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Abstractness

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Because of historical mergers of vowels that originally belonged to different harmonic classes, vowels may behave ambiguously. A classic case occurs in Yawelmani, where certain high vowels behave “as if” they are low (see Archangeli 1984). Likewise, front vowels in Hungarian may behave as if they are back (see Vago 1978), and in advanced tongue root (ATR) languages ATR vowels may behave as if they are [–ATR] (see Hoffman 1973). Kiparsky 1982 discusses the pros and cons of so-called abstract analyses that use rules of absolute neutralization.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Archangeli, Diana. 1984. Underspecification in Yawelmani phonology and morphology. PhD diss., Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        An extensive analysis of vowel harmony in Yawelmani.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Hoffman, C. 1973. The vowel harmony system of the Okpe monosyllabic verb. Research Notes, Department of Linguistics and Nigerian Languages, University of Ibadan 6.1–3: 79–113.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Presents a classic case of vowels behaving in two different ways, reflecting a stage prior to merger.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Kiparsky, Paul. 1982. How abstract is phonology? In Explanation in phonology. Edited by Paul Kiparsky, 119–163. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Foris.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The classic discussion of the abstractness issue using vowel harmony cases as examples. Originally published in 1968.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Vago, Robert. 1978. Some controversial questions concerning the description of vowel harmony. Linguistic Inquiry 9:116–125.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              This study provides motivation for the use of abstractness in the analysis of vowel harmony.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Disharmonic Roots and Exceptions

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              In many vowel harmony systems, certain roots or affixes fail to participate, often owing to the fact that the relevant morphemes are borrowings. Clements and Sezer 1982 offers a detailed study of disharmony in Turkish; Finley 2010 discusses the domain of exception marking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Clements, G. N., and Engin Sezer. 1982. Vowel and consonant disharmony in Turkish. In The structure of phonological representations. Part 2. Edited by Harry van der Hulst and Norval Smith, 213–255. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Foris.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                An extensive, well-documented study of disharmony in Turkish.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Finley, Sara. 2010. Exceptions in vowel harmony are local. Lingua 120:1549–1566.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1016/j.lingua.2009.10.003Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  This paper argues that while the domain of regular vowel harmony processes applies over the entire lexical item, exceptions to vowel harmony apply to a domain that is locally bound to the exceptional morpheme.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Antiharmonic Roots

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Roots containing neutral vowels sometimes unexpectedly take affixes with a feature value opposite to that of the root. See Törkenczy 2011 for this phenomenon in Hungarian and Nevins 2010 for discussion of other cases. Krämer 2003 refers to antiharmonic vowels as “Trojan” vowels.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Consonantal Interaction

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Apparent irregularity can also be caused by the fact that intervening consonants participate in the harmony, as in Turkish, where some root-final consonants cause suffixes to be front even if the preceding vowel is back. A general discussion of possible types of consonantal interaction is in Krämer 2003; also see Nevins 2010 and Rose and Walker 2011.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Krämer, Martin. 2003. Vowel harmony and correspondence theory. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1515/9783110197310Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The first chapter provides an overview of four types of consonantal intervention in vowel harmony.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Nevins, Andrew. 2010. Locality in vowel harmony. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      A theoretical account of consonantal intervention that assumes consonants can be relevant to the search for a harmonic feature.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Rose, Sharon, and Rachel Walker. 2011. Harmony systems. In Handbook of phonological theory. Edited by John Goldmsith, Alan Yu, and Jason Riggle, 240–290. Malden, MA: Blackwell.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        This article provides many examples of vowel-consonant interaction in harmony processes.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Cyclicity

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Vowel harmony can apply at the word level, after all affixation, or it can apply cyclically, after each instance of affixation. Most analyses remain neutral on this issue and in practice offer noncyclic analyses. Arguments for cyclic application are in Kiparsky 1982 and Bakovic 2001.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Bakovic, Eric. 2001. Vowel harmony and cyclicity in Eastern Nilotic. In Proceedings of the 27th Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society. Edited by Andrew Simpson, 1–12. Berkeley, CA: Berkeley Linguistics Society.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          An example of cyclic derivation of vowel harmony.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Kiparsky, Paul. 1982. From cyclic phonology to lexical phonology. In The structure of phonological representations. Part 2. Edited by Harry G. van der Hulst and Norval. Smith, 131–177. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Foris.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The classic introduction to lexical phonology, which derives cyclicity from the architecture of the grammar.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Direction and Iteration

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            In root-control systems, vowel harmony applies from the root outward, often starting from the leftmost vowel in the root. Given its unbounded nature, vowel harmony raises the issue of iterative application. General discussions (including examples from vowel harmony) of iterative rule application are in Howard 1972 and Johnson 1972. Hyman 2002 and Archangeli and Pulleyblank 2007 discuss directionality and iteration with specific reference to vowel harmony. A recent study is Mahanta 2007.

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