Linguistics Hungarian Vowel Harmony
by
Miklós Törkenczy
  • LAST MODIFIED: 28 September 2016
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199772810-0134

Introduction

Vowel harmony is the phonological requirement that vowels must agree in their specifications for some designated feature(s) (e.g., backness, roundness, height, tongue root) within a prosodically or morphologically defined domain (e.g., root, stem, syllable, phonological word). If the domain of harmony is larger than the root, it results in alternations (typically, harmonically alternating affixes). Hungarian displays two kinds of vowel harmony, a pervasive front/back (palatal) harmony and a more limited roundness (labial) harmony. The latter never occurs independently of the first type of harmony. Both kinds of harmony are stem-controlled and directionally left-to-right; that is, the relevant harmonic properties of the stem determine those of the harmonically alternating suffixes. There are suffixes that show two-way alternation (back ~ front) and suffixes that show three-way alternation (back ~ unrounded front ~ rounded front). The domain of harmony is the word, which does not include prefixes and certain suffixes. Consonants neither initiate nor block harmony. Front/back harmony can apply long-distance, skipping neutral vowels, which are thus transparent. There are four neutral vowels (/iː, i, eː, ɛ/) representing different degrees of neutrality, the gradience manifesting itself chiefly in the variability of transparency: /iː, i/ are fully transparent, there is some variation between transparency and opacity with /eː/, and there is massive variation with /ɛ/ (this is referred to as the “height effect” in the literature, cf. Hayes, et al. 2009, cited under Gradience, Variation, the Height Effect, and the Count Effect). More than one neutral vowel is also less transparent than a single one (this is referred to as the “count effect”, cf. Hayes, et al. 2009, cited under Gradience, Variation, the Height Effect, and the Count Effect). It is generally assumed that in a harmony system with neutral vowels, those vowels of the inventory are the neutral ones that cannot harmonically alternate, since they lack their harmonic counterparts. Hungarian is interesting or problematic in this respect because, of the four neutral vowels, /eː, ɛ/ are involved in harmonic alternations in suffixes. On the other hand, almost all of the suffixes that do not alternate harmonically have one of the neutral vowels (except /ɛ/). The neutral vowels (which are phonetically front) can also regularly combine with back vowels within the root. Hungarian has front/back anti-harmony: some neutral-vowel roots consistently take an anti-harmonic back suffix alternant rather than the front one, while others (the majority of similar roots) behave in the way required by front/back harmony (and take a front suffix). Roundness harmony has none of the intricacies of front/back harmony: it does not apply in roots, there are no long-distance transparency effects, and it shows no variation. It is also restricted in height: while the source of roundness harmony can be a rounded vowel of any height, the suffixal target vowel is never high. Roundness harmony interacts with another process (Lowering) that results in the suspension of roundness harmony after inflectional suffixes and some roots (and may result in four-way suffix alternations).

Works of Comprehensive Descriptive Coverage

Hungarian vowel harmony (henceforward HVH) has received considerable attention in the phonological literature, but most works concentrate on some aspect(s) of it. The following publications offer comprehensive coverage and descriptive detail (with or without a formal analysis in some theoretical framework chosen). Abondolo 1988, Olsson 1992, Rebrus 2000, Siptár and Törkenczy 2000, and Vago 1980 discuss Hungarian (morpho)phonology generally, including vowel harmony, while Rebrus, et al. 2012 and Törkenczy 2011 focus specifically on HVH.

  • Abondolo, Daniel. 1988. Hungarian inflectional morphology. Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A book on Hungarian nominal and verbal inflection; the terminology and the formalism are idiosyncratic, but it contains a descriptively thorough discussion of vowel harmony.

    Find this resource:

    • Olsson, Magnus. 1992. Hungarian phonology and morphology. Travaux de l’Institut de Linguistique de Lund 26. Lund, Sweden: Lund Univ. Press.

      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

      A rule-based analysis of Hungarian (morpho)phonology (intended to be a criticism of Vago 1980). It has a chapter on HVH.

      Find this resource:

      • Rebrus, Péter. 2000. Morfofonológiai jelenségek. In Strukturális magyar nyelvtan. Vol. 3, Morfológia. Edited by Ferenc Kiefer, 763–947. Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó.

        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

        A government phonology approach to Hungarian morphophonology. It has a very detailed discussion of vowel harmony.

        Find this resource:

        • Rebrus, Péter, Péter Szigetvári, and Miklós Törkenczy. 2012. Dark secrets of Hungarian vowel harmony. In Sound structure and sense: Studies in memory of Edmund Gussmann. Edited by Eugeniusz Cyran, Henryk Kardela, and Bogdan Szymanek, 491–508. Lublin, Poland: Wydawnictwo KUL.

          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

          An essentially descriptive paper focusing on vowel harmony phenomena that are rarely or not discussed in the literature and are potentially problematic for the available analyses that encode harmonic behavior in underlying representations.

          Find this resource:

          • Siptár, Péter, and Miklós Törkenczy. 2000. The phonology of Hungarian. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

            A derivational, autosegmental, lexical phonology approach to Hungarian phonology, with two descriptively thorough chapters on vowel harmony.

            Find this resource:

            • 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, 2963–2990. Malden, MA, and Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.

              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

              A very detailed theory-neutral review of the facts, the analytic issues, and the literature. Also discusses other phonological processes that interact with vowel harmony.

              Find this resource:

              • Vago, Robert. 1980. The sound pattern of Hungarian. Washington, DC: Georgetown Univ. Press.

                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                A rule-based, abstract, derivational analysis of Hungarian phonology with a treatment of vowel harmony covering the basic pattern.

                Find this resource:

                Roundness Harmony

                Hungarian roundness harmony has received less attention in the literature, although it is included in comprehensive descriptions or analyses (see Works of Comprehensive Descriptive Coverage). The following are works that either focus on roundness harmony or in which it is given special scrutiny. Szeredi 2012 is a diachronic and typologically oriented study. The other works in this section are all synchronic analyses couched in some theoretical framework: Polgárdi and Rebrus 1998 in government phonology; and Ringen and Vago 1998a, Ringen and Vago 1998b, and Szentgyörgyi 1999 in optimality theory (OT).

                • Polgárdi, Krisztina, and Péter Rebrus. 1998. There is no labial harmony in Hungarian: A government phonology analysis. In Approaches to Hungarian 6: Papers from the Amsterdam Conference. Edited by Casper de Groot and István Kenesei, 3–20. Szeged, Hungary: JATE.

                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                  A government phonology analysis that is rich in descriptive detail. The authors argue that vowel agreement in roundness in suffixes in Hungarian is not vowel harmony, but a case of licensing.

                  Find this resource:

                  • Ringen, Catherine O., and Robert M. Vago. 1998a. Hungarian roundness harmony in optimality theory. In Approaches to Hungarian 6: Papers from the Amsterdam Conference. Edited by Casper de Groot and István Kenesei, 61–86. Szeged, Hungary: JATE.

                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                    An alignment-based analysis of roundness harmony that employs the containment model of OT; it treats roundness as a privative feature.

                    Find this resource:

                    • Ringen, Catherine O., and Robert M. Vago. 1998b. Hungarian vowel harmony in optimality theory. Phonology 15:393–416.

                      DOI: 10.1017/S0952675799003632Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                      An optimality theoretical analysis of Hungarian vowel harmony. It has a section on roundness harmony in which the authors adopt the licensing approach proposed by Polgárdi and Rebrus 1998 and incorporate it into an OT analysis.

                      Find this resource:

                      • Szentgyörgyi, Szilárd. 1999. Lowering: The interaction of phonology and morphology in Hungarian. PhD diss., Szeged Univ.

                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                        A detailed OT analysis of lowering, which is relevant to roundness harmony because it results in disharmonic suffix initial vowels.

                        Find this resource:

                        • Szeredi, Daniel. 2012. Phonetically unnatural alternation as a result of regular sound change: The case of rounding harmony in Hungarian. Poster presented at the Old World Conference in Phonology 9, Berlin, Germany, 19 January.

                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                          The author discusses the history of roundness harmony in Hungarian and shows that while Old Hungarian met the typological generalizations put forward by Abigail Kaun in 2004, present-day Hungarian does not and discusses the theoretical implications. (See Kaun’s “The Typology of Rounding Harmony,” in Phonetically Based Phonology, edited by Bruce Hayes, Robert Kirchner, and Donca Steriade [Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press], 87–116.)

                          Find this resource:

                          Front/Back Harmony

                          There is a vast body of literature on Hungarian front/back harmony. The main reason for this attention is that (the co-occurrence of) some of its properties (e.g., multiple transparent neutral vowels, long-distance application/transparency, variation in transparency, anti-harmony, the behavior of invariant and alternating suffixes, etc.) make it a suitable and challenging target for testing phonological theories and analytic machinery. Naturally, there is extensive literature on HVH in Hungarian, too, which is cited only when especially relevant or unique to a topic, or when the findings are not accessible otherwise. For a comprehensive survey and bibliography of the Hungarian literature see Forró 2013, cited under Gradience, Variation, the Height Effect, and the Count Effect.

                          Structuralist, Pre-Generative Analyses

                          The studies in section all analyze or describe HVH in a structuralist, nongenerative framework. Austerlitz 1950 has the most detail about HVH. Hetzron 1972 and Lotz 1972 are short overviews. The focus of Becker Makkai 1970 is primarily theoretical: the author uses HVH to argue against the generative approach to phonology.

                          • Austerlitz, Robert Paul. 1950. Phonemic analysis of Hungarian. MA diss., New York: Columbia Univ.

                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                            A structuralist phonemic analysis of Hungarian, including a discussion of vowel harmony.

                            Find this resource:

                            • Becker Makkai, Valerie. 1970. Vowel harmony in Hungarian reexamined in the light of recent developments in phonological theory. In Phonological theory: Evolution and current practice. Edited by Valerie Becker Makkai, 634–648. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.

                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                              The paper compares the structuralist, the stratificational, and the generative approaches to vowel harmony, and argues that the properties of HVH favor the stratificational approach.

                              Find this resource:

                              • Hetzron, Robert. 1972. Studies in Hungarian morphophonology. Ural-Altaische Jahrbücher 44:79–106.

                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                A diachronic study about a morphological development in the conjugation system; it has a short description and prosodic analysis of HVH.

                                Find this resource:

                                • Lotz, John. 1972. Vowel harmony in Hungarian. In Mélanges offerts à Aurélien Sauvageot pour son soixante-quinzième anniversaire. Edited by J. Gergely, J.- L. Moreau, J. Perrot, and J. Erdődi, 175–183. Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó.

                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                  A short descriptive summary of HVH and the morphophonology of harmonic suffix alternations.

                                  Find this resource:

                                  Generative, Derivational Approaches

                                  All the works in this section propose a generative, derivational, rule-based analysis of HVH. Quite a number of linear generative analyses predate the advent of autosegmental phonology (e.g., Vago 1976, Vago 1978, and Jensen 1978, all cited under Linear, Segmental Analyses), and after a brief period of competition and debate about the suitability of a linear versus autosegmental approach to harmony in general, and transparency in particular (Vago 1980, cited under Linear, Segmental Analyses), the autosegmental approach became dominant. This was a period of intense study in HVH in the international literature, and most analyses focused on the categorical aspect of it, while considerably less attention was given to its gradient properties, such as variation and the differences between neutral vowels.

                                  Linear, Segmental Analyses

                                  The papers in this section all assume a linear segmental representation and employ a model with extrinsically ordered rules to account for the basic pattern of HVH. Vago 1976, Vago 1978, Jensen 1978, and Ringen 1978 are part of a debate about HVH that appeared in Linguistic Inquiry at the end of the 1970s; these papers specifically make reference to one another and discuss issues (e.g., the treatment of exceptions) raised in the course of the debate.

                                  • Jensen, John. 1978. Reply to “Theoretical implications of Hungarian vowel harmony.” Linguistic Inquiry 9:89–97.

                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                    A linear, rule-based analysis positing abstract segments; a reply to Vago 1976, it argues that only one of Vago’s harmony rules is necessary.

                                    Find this resource:

                                    • Reiss, Charles. 2003. Deriving the feature-filling/feature-changing contrast: An application to Hungarian vowel harmony. Linguistic Inquiry 34:199–224.

                                      DOI: 10.1162/002438903321663389Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                      A primarily theoretically oriented paper about making the feature filling/feature changing diacritic on rules unnecessary. It outlines a purely feature-filling analysis of Hungarian.

                                      Find this resource:

                                      • Ringen, Catherine. 1978. Another view of the theoretical implications of Hungarian vowel harmony. Linguistic Inquiry 9:105–115.

                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                        A detailed critique of Vago 1976, especially the treatment of exceptions and the abstract segment analysis of anti-harmonic roots.

                                        Find this resource:

                                        • Ringen, Catherine. 1980. A concrete analysis of Hungarian vowel harmony. In Issues in vowel harmony. Edited by Robert Vago, 135–154. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                          The phonetically motivated part of HVH is handled by a rule of vowel harmony, while a diacritically triggered rule of disharmony accounts for anti-harmony rather than abstract underlying representations.

                                          Find this resource:

                                          • Ringen, Catherine. 1982. Abstractness and the theory of exceptions. Linguistic Analysis 10:191–202.

                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                            In this linear, rule-based analysis, Ringen proposes to handle HVH with a single harmony rule, without abstract underlying segments or abstract segments that are derived at intermediate representations.

                                            Find this resource:

                                            • Vago, Robert. 1976. Theoretical implications of Hungarian vowel harmony. Linguistic Inquiry 7:243–263.

                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                              A linear, rule-based analysis positing abstract segments. Argues for abstract representations and two disjunctively ordered vowel harmony rules that are restricted to derived environments; harmony in roots is handled by morpheme structure conditions.

                                              Find this resource:

                                              • Vago, Robert. 1978. Some controversial questions concerning the description of Hungarian vowel harmony. Linguistic Inquiry 9:116–126.

                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                Vago’s reply to Jensen 1978 and Ringen 1978. Mostly focusing on the treatment of exceptions, he defends the analysis given in Vago 1976.

                                                Find this resource:

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

                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                  A critique of Hetzron 1972 (cited under Structuralist, Pre-generative Analyses), Clements 1976 (under Autosegmental Analyses), and Ringen 1980. It argues for the segmental approach to vowel harmony.

                                                  Find this resource:

                                                  Autosegmental Analyses

                                                  These papers explore the formal properties of the autosegmental model of phonological representation (e.g., independent autosegmental tiers, floating features) to analyze HVH, primarily the nonlocal interactions (transparency) and exceptional behavior (anti-harmonic roots). Van der Hulst 1985 contrasts autosegmental and linear analyses of harmony using HVH as an example. The other papers in this section all address some specific property of HVH (neutral vowels: Clements 1976, Booij 1984, Ringen 1988) or use HVH to argue for some position in a theoretical issue (underspecification/featural representation: Ewen and van der Hulst 1985, Farkas and Beddor 1987, Steriade 1987).

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

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

                                                    An autosegmental analysis that criticizes the approach to (Hungarian) neutral vowels in Clements 1976 and proposes an alternative.

                                                    Find this resource:

                                                    • Clements, George N. 1976. Neutral vowels in Hungarian vowel harmony: An autosegmental interpretation. Papers from the Annual Meeting of the North East Linguistic Society 7:49–64.

                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                      An early application of the autosegmental approach to HVH. Assumes that neutral vowels are underlyingly front in roots but unspecified in suffixes.

                                                      Find this resource:

                                                      • Ewen, Colin, and Harry van der Hulst. 1985. Single-valued features and the non-linear analysis of vowel harmony. In Linguistics in the Netherlands. Edited by H. Bennis and F. Beukema, 39–48. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Foris.

                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                        While not specifically about Hungarian, there is a section in which the authors outline an autosegmental analysis of HVH using unary features.

                                                        Find this resource:

                                                        • Farkas, Donca, and Patrice Beddor. 1987. Privative and equipollent backness in Hungarian. CLS 23.2: 90–105.

                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                          An autosegmental analysis of HVH that also discusses the count effect.

                                                          Find this resource:

                                                          • Jensen, John. 1984. A lexical phonology treatment of Hungarian vowel harmony. Linguistic Analysis 14:231–253.

                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                            A rule-based analysis of HVH in a lexical phonology framework, arguing for a cyclic harmony rule.

                                                            Find this resource:

                                                            • Kornai, András. 1987. Hungarian vowel harmony. WCCFL 6:147–161.

                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                              A rule-based autosegmental analysis that uses unary features.

                                                              Find this resource:

                                                              • Ringen, Catherine. 1988. Transparency in Hungarian vowel harmony. Phonology 5:327–342.

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

                                                                An underspecification analysis of neutral vowels in HVH; it also considers the possibility of having multiple sources of transparency.

                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                • Steriade, Donca. 1987. Redundant values. In Papers from the parasession on autosegmental and metrical phonology. Edited by A. Bosch, B. Need, and E. Schiller, 339–362. Chicago: Chicago Linguistic Society.

                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                  The paper is primarily about the theoretical issue of underspecification. It examines different phonological phenomena from various languages, including HVH, to support the author’s view that only redundant values resulting from co-occurrence restrictions can be left out from underlying representations.

                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                  • 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.

                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                    Using HVH data and through a meticulous review of the generative literature on HVH (before 1985), the author compares the linear and autosegmental approaches to vowel harmony and argues that the autosegmental approach is more appropriate and theoretically preferable.

                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                    Government Phonology, CV Phonology

                                                                    Various aspects of HVH have also been analyzed in generative frameworks outside the mainstream, such as government phonology, as in the case of Demirdache 1988, Ritter 1995, Dienes 1997, and Polgárdi 2015, and CV phonology, as in van der Hulst 2012a and van der Hulst 2012b.

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

                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                      A government phonology analysis of transparent neutral vowels; it has a detailed discussion of the status of /ɛ/ in HVH.

                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                      • Dienes, Péter. 1997. Hungarian neutral vowels. The Odd Yearbook 4:151–180.

                                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                        A detailed analysis of HVH and neutral vowels in terms of licensing unary elements in a government phonology framework.

                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                        • Polgárdi, Krisztina. 2015. Typology of weak disharmony: Representations versus the frontness/backness scale. Theoretical Linguistics 41:1–2, 89–96.

                                                                          DOI: 10.1515/tl-2015-0005Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                          A commentary on Rebrus and Törkenczy 2015 (cited under Typology). It contains a sketch of HVH in a government phonology framework.

                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                          • Ritter, Nancy A. 1995. The role of universal grammar in phonology: A government phonology approach to Hungarian. PhD diss., New York Univ.

                                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                            A PhD dissertation that gives a government phonology analysis of select phenomena of Hungarian phonology. It has a chapter on HVH.

                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                            • van der Hulst, Harry. 2012a. A minimal framework for vowel harmony. In Phonological Explorations. Empirical, Theoretical and Diachronic Issues. Edited by Bert Botma and Roland Noske, 155–190. Berlin and Boston: De Gruyter.

                                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                              The paper discusses the radical CV model and its application to vowel harmony, with some discussion of HVH (transparency and anti-harmony).

                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                              • van der Hulst, Harry. 2012b. Vowel harmony in Turkish and Hungarian. McGill Working Papers in Linguistics 22.1: 1–33.

                                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                A unary element-based radical CV approach to HVH.

                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                Optimality Theory (OT)

                                                                                Studies of HVH in an optimality theory framework (containment or correspondence version) were published soon after the appearance of OT on the generative scene in the early 1990s. Ringen and Vago 1995 and Ringen and Vago 1998 both focus on the categorical aspect of HVH and tend to be OT reanalyses based on the insights and assumptions of earlier rule-based analyses. Other OT analyses, which (also) target the variable properties of HVH appear in the section on Gradience, Variation, the Height Effect, and the Count Effect. Jensen and Stong-Jensen 2010 argues against OT, using HVH as an example.

                                                                                • Jensen, John T., and Margaret Stong-Jensen. 2010. Hungarian vowel harmony meets OT. In Actes du congrès annuel de l’Association canadienne de linguistique 2010—Proceedings of the 2010 Annual Conference of the Canadian Linguistic Association. Edited by Melinda Heijl. Ottawa, ON: Canadian Linguistic Association.

                                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                  The paper criticizes OT approaches to HVH and argues that it is best analyzed in a rule-based model using abstract underlying representations, absolute neutralization, underspecification, and a lexical phonology view of the derivation.

                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                  • Ringen, Catherine O., and Robert M. Vago. 1995. A constraint based analysis of Hungarian vowel harmony. In Approaches to Hungarian: Levels and structures. Vol. 5. Edited by István Kenesei, 309–319. Szeged, Hungary: Attila József Univ.

                                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                    An alignment-based analysis of HVH that employs the containment model of OT.

                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                    • Ringen, Catherine O., and Robert M. Vago. 1998. Hungarian vowel harmony in optimality theory. Phonology 15:393–416.

                                                                                      DOI: 10.1017/S0952675799003632Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                      The most comprehensive OT analysis to date (correspondence version) of the categorical aspect of HVH.

                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                      Specific Issues and Topics

                                                                                      Recently, there has been a shift in the literature on HVH toward its phonetic motivation and variability. These studies involve phonetic experiments, statistically oriented corpus-based research into frequency (type and/or token), and computational modeling, which were not characteristic of earlier research (see Front/Back Harmony). Also, current research focuses on features of HVH (the count effect, the height effect, anti-harmony) that received less attention or were simply considered an irregularity earlier.

                                                                                      Phonetic Motivation, Experimental Approaches

                                                                                      Most of the papers in this section explore the phonetic properties of neutral vowels (articulatory: Beňuš, et al. 2003; Beňuš 2005; Beňuš and Gafos 2005; Beňuš and Gafos 2007; acoustic: Blaho and Szeredi 2013, Szeredi 2010) and the perceptibility of these effects and their relationship to HVH. Siptár and Gósy 2015 studies the phonetic properties of a harmonic vowel that is undergoing change.

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

                                                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                        A PhD dissertation arguing for an integrated nonlinear dynamics model relating phonetics and phonology to account for the properties of transparent vowels. It is also a study of the phonetics and phonology of Hungarian transparent vowels using experimental data about their articulation.

                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                        • Beňuš, Stefan, and Adamantios I. Gafos. 2005. Qualitative and quantitative aspects of vowel harmony: A dynamics model. In Proceedings of the 27th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Edited by Bruno G. Bara, Lawrence Barsalou, and Monica Bucciarelli, 226–231. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

                                                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                          The paper applies nonlinear dynamics to vowel harmony and uses Hungarian transparent vowels as an example of where small articulatory changes lead to qualitative changes in suffix selection.

                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                          • Beňuš, Stefan, and Adamantios I. Gafos. 2007. Articulatory characteristics of Hungarian “transparent” vowels. Journal of Phonetics 35:271–300.

                                                                                            DOI: 10.1016/j.wocn.2006.11.002Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                            An articulatory phonetic study of the neutral vowels. The authors argue that transparent vowels also participate in backness harmony phonetically (as shown by their articulatory properties (tongue body advancement/retraction) and that the phonetically front neutral vowels of anti-harmonic roots show retraction (even in isolation). They suggest an explanation of the height effect based on the acoustic and articulatory phonetic properties of the vowels involved.

                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                            • Beňuš, Stefan, Adamantios I. Gafos, and Louis Goldstein. 2003. Phonetics and phonology of transparent vowels in Hungarian. In Proceedings of the 29th Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistic Society. Edited by P. M. Nowak, C. Yoquelet, and D. Mortensen, 485–497. Berkeley, CA: Berkeley Linguistic Society.

                                                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                              A preliminary articulatory phonetic study of neutral vowels, with results similar to those of Beňuš and Gafos 2007. The authors describe a dynamical model of suffix selection and propose an OT analysis with phonetically motivated constraints.

                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                              • Blaho, Sylvia, and Dániel Szeredi. 2013. Hungarian neutral vowels: A microcomparison. In Special issue: A festschrift on the occasion of X years of CASTL phonology and Curt Rice’s Lth birthday. Edited by Sylvia Blaho, Martin Krämer, and Bruce Morén-Duolljá. Nordlyd 40.1: 20–40.

                                                                                                DOI: 10.7557/12.2499Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                The authors argue that the articulatory differences between the neutral vowels in harmonic and anti-harmonic stems reported by Beňuš and Gafos 2007 have no consistent acoustic manifestation.

                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                • Siptár, Péter, and Mária Gósy. 2015. Abstractness and complexity? The case of Hungarian /a:/. In Approaches to Hungarian 14: Papers from the 2013 Piliscsaba Conference. Edited by Katalin É. Kiss, Balázs Surányi, and Éva Dékány, 147–165. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

                                                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                  A phonetic study of the fronting of Hungarian /aː/ (which behaves as a back vowel in harmony) and the phonological consequences of this ongoing change on HVH and on the abstractness of its analysis.

                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                  • Szeredi, Dániel. 2010. Vowel centralization and vowel harmony in Hungarian. Odd Yearbook 8:111–137.

                                                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                    The paper is primarily an acoustic/perceptional study of vowel reduction in Hungarian, but it also discusses the effect of HVH on vowel reduction.

                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                    Connectionism

                                                                                                    Hare 1992 is a computational model of HVH.

                                                                                                    • Hare, Mary. 1992. The role of similarity in Hungarian vowel harmony: A connectionist account. In Connectionist natural language processing: Readings from Connection Science. Edited by Noel Sharkey, 295–322. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1007/978-94-011-2624-3_14Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                      A computational, connectionist approach to vowel harmony in general, using (a rather simplified set of) data from HVH as an example.

                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                      Gradience, Variation, the Height Effect, and the Count Effect

                                                                                                      The height effect, the count effect, and the non-uniform properties of the Hungarian neutral vowels are the focus of the studies in this section. Most of them examine the gradience of variation resulting from these effects. Ringen and Kontra 1989 is the first detailed study of the degrees of neutrality among neutral vowels in HVH. Wanlass 2008 and Forró 2013 are data-oriented studies. Hayes and Cziráky Londe 2006 and Hayes, et al. 2009 also offer a formal analysis using stochastic optimality theory, in addition to corpus studies and psycholinguistic experiments. Nevins 2010 and Bowman 2013 include formal analyses of simplified data sets about the height effect and the count effect.

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

                                                                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                        A typological study of the noncategorical, gradient, statistical aspects of front/back harmony. It has a detailed discussion of the degrees of neutrality in Hungarian.

                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                        • Bowman, Samuel R. 2013. Two arguments for a positive vowel harmony imperative. Rutgers Optimality Archive 1181. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers Univ. Cognitive Science Center.

                                                                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                          The paper includes an analysis of the height effect and the count effect in a Serial Harmonic Grammar framework using positive weighted constraints and Wendell Kimper’s Trigger Competition approach (see Kimper’s “Competing Triggers: Transparency and Opacity in Vowel Harmony,” PhD dissertation, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 2011.)

                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                          • Forró, Orsolya. 2013. Ingadozás a magyar elölségi harmóniában: Szempontok a variabilitás szinkróniájának és diakróniájának feltárásához és értelmezéséhez. PhD diss. Piliscsaba, Hungary: Pázmány Péter Katolikus Egyetem.

                                                                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                            An excellent, mainly descriptive study of variation in HVH that is extremely rich in data and detail. Also reviews the literature (international and Hungarian) and has a useful bibliography which includes the Hungarian literature on HVH. (Translates as “Variation in palatal harmony in Hungarian: Approaches to the interpretation of synchronic and diachronic variability.”)

                                                                                                            Find this resource:

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

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

                                                                                                              This paper examines the height effect, the count effect, and their interaction using Google searches and a wug test and models the results with a stochastic OT analysis.

                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                              • Hayes, Bruce, Kie Zuraw, Péter Siptár, and Zsuzsa Londe. 2009. Natural and unnatural constraints in Hungarian vowel harmony. Language 85:822–863.

                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1353/lan.0.0169Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                The authors examine the height effect, the count effect, and anti-harmony and find statistical patterns in variation that are influenced by phonologically unnatural constraints. They tested native-speaker judgments and conclude that native speakers are sensitive even to unnatural constraints.

                                                                                                                Find this resource:

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

                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262140973.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                  A principles and parameters approach to vowel harmony. Uses Hungarian as an example (among other languages and harmony systems) and offers an analysis of the count effect and the height effect, only making a distinction between the presence and the absence of variation, and not considering the rate of variation (frequency).

                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                  • Ringen, Catherine, and Miklós Kontra. 1989. Hungarian neutral vowels. Lingua 78:181–191.

                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1016/0024-3841(89)90052-1Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                    An empirical, experimental study (sentence completion tests) of Hungarian neutral vowels. The authors examine variation in suffix harmony and find a gradience in neutrality (the height effect and the count effect).

                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                    • Wanlass, Zara. 2008. Evidence from online corpora for variation in Hungarian vowel harmony. In Approaches to Hungarian 10: Papers from the Veszprém Conference. Edited by Christopher Piñón and Szilárd Szentgyörgyi, 233–245. Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó.

                                                                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                      A corpus-based study of the stem-dependent variation in harmonic suffixation using the Hungarian national corpus and the Szószablya Webkorpusz.

                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                      Anti-Harmony

                                                                                                                      Anti-harmony, i.e., disharmony in backness in a suffix, is usually analyzed as an irregularity (resulting from a historical neutralization) in standard treatments of HVH (see, for example, Vago 1980 and Siptár and Törkenczy 2000, cited under Works of Comprehensive Descriptive Coverage). The studies in this section focus on (some aspect of) anti-harmony, and most of them question this view. Kis 2005 is a diachronic study of anti-harmonic roots. Krämer 2003 is an optimality theoretic formal analysis. Rebrus and Törkenczy 2005 and Rebrus and Szigetvári 2015 discuss aspects of anti-harmony usually not addressed in analyses (a paradigmatic contrast effect and an asymmetry in the behavior of harmonically nonalternating suffixes with respect to anti-harmony). Szeredi 2012 is an experimental study.

                                                                                                                      • Kis, Tamás. 2005. A veláris i a magyarban. Magyar Nyelvjárások 43:5–26.

                                                                                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                        A diachronic study (“Back i in Hungarian”) that argues against the widely accepted view that there was a back ɨ in Hungarian at some point in its history, which was later lost and merged with i (and this explains the existence of anti-harmonic roots historically).

                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

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

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

                                                                                                                          A correspondence theory approach to vowel harmony; gives a detailed analysis of anti-harmony (“Trojan vowels”) in terms of local constraint conjunction (it also argues against the transparency of neutral vowels in Hungarian).

                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                          • Rebrus, Péter, and Péter Szigetvári. 2015. Diminutives: Exceptions to the exceptions. Paper presented at 12th Old World Conference in Phonology (OCP12), Barcelona, 27–30 January.

                                                                                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                            An analysis of the dual character of diminutives with a neutral vowel, which are transparent to harmony but opaque to anti-harmony.

                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                            • Rebrus, Péter, and Miklós Törkenczy. 2005. Uniformity and contrast in the Hungarian verbal paradigm. In Paradigms in phonological theory. Edited by Laura J. Downing, T. A. Hall, and Renate Raffelsiefen, 263–295. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                              The paper is primarily about the morphophonology of the verbal paradigm, but it also contains an OT analysis of an apparent case of suffix-specific anti-harmony.

                                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                                              • Szeredi, Dániel. 2012. Acceptability of harmonic mismatch for neutral vowel stems in Hungarian. New York: New York Univ. Web.

                                                                                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                A thorough study, based on acoustic and perception experiments, of anti-harmony and the phonetic correlates of anti-harmonicity. It also discusses the theoretical relevance of the results and the consequences on the analysis of anti-harmony. It questions the findings of Beňuš and Gafos 2007 (cited under Phonetic Motivation, Experimental Approaches) and argues that small phonetic details are not used by speakers in categorizing stems as anti-harmonic or not.

                                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                Typology

                                                                                                                                These studies examine the typological status of HVH compared to other (front/back) harmony systems.

                                                                                                                                • Gafos, Adamantios I., and Amanda Dye. 2011. Vowel harmony: Opaque and transparent vowels. In The Blackwell companion to phonology. Vol. 4. Edited by Marc van Oostendorp, Colin J. Ewen, Elizabeth Hume, and Keren Rice, 2164–2190. Malden, MA, and Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.

                                                                                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                  The paper is not primarily about HVH, but contains a long discussion of it, focusing on the ways in which Hungarian is problematic for the analysis of vowel harmony proposed by Paul Kiparsky and Karl Pajusalu (in “Towards a Typology of Disharmony,” Linguistic Review 20 (2003): 217–241) and on the phonetically motivated approach to neutral vowels argued for in Beňuš, et al. 2003; Beňuš 2005; and Beňuš and Gafos 2007 (all cited under Phonetic Motivation, Experimental Approaches).

                                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                  • Rebrus, Péter, and Miklós Törkenczy. 2015. Monotonicity and the typology of front/back harmony. Theoretical Linguistics 41:1–2, 1–61.

                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1515/tl-2015-0001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                    The focus of the paper is the typology of front/back harmony (a reanalysis of Kiparsky and Pajusalu survey in “Towards a Typology of Disharmony,” Linguistic Review 20 [2003]: 217–241); it also discusses variable patterns, including the general Hungarian harmony pattern, and analyzes the count effect in Hungarian in detail.

                                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                    Phrasal Context

                                                                                                                                    A lesser-known aspect of HVH is that variation can be sensitive to larger phrasal context under special conditions.

                                                                                                                                    • Kontra, Miklós, Catherine O. Ringen, and Joseph Paul Stemberger. 1991. The effect of context on suffix vowel choice in Hungarian vowel harmony. In Proceedings of the Fourteenth International Congress of Linguists. Edited by W. Bahner, J. Schildt, and D. Viehweger, 450–453. Berlin: Akademie-Verlag.

                                                                                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                      This paper reports on the results of an experiment about the influence of the phrasal context on variation in the suffixation of vacillating stems.

                                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                      Dialectal Differences

                                                                                                                                      Very little has been published (especially internationally) about dialectal variation in HVH. Ringen and Szentgyörgyi 2000 and Blaho and Szeredi 2013 study HVH in different dialects.

                                                                                                                                      • Blaho, Sylvia, and Dániel Szeredi. 2013. Hungarian neutral vowels: A microcomparison. In Special issue: A festschrift on the occasion of X years of CASTL phonology and Curt Rice’s Lth birthday. Edited by Sylvia Blaho, Martin Krämer, and Bruce Morén-Duolljá. Nordlyd 40.1: 20–40.

                                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.7557/12.2499Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                        An experimental study of neutral vowels that also investigates dialectal differences in vacillation in HVH between the Budapest and Párkány dialects.

                                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                        • Ringen, Catherine O., and Szilárd Szentgyörgyi. 2000. Constraint reranking in the Szeged dialect of Hungarian. In Approaches to Hungarian: Papers from the Pécs Conference. Vol. 7. Edited by Gábor Alberti and István Kenesei, 5–21. Szeged, Hungary: Attila József Univ.

                                                                                                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                          The authors describe differences in HVH between the Budapest and the Szeged dialects and argue that they can be analyzed in terms of constraint re-ranking in OT.

                                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                          Language Acquisition

                                                                                                                                          Gósy 1989 studies the acquisition of HVH.

                                                                                                                                          • Gósy, Mária. 1989. Vowel harmony: Interrelations of speech production, speech perception, and the phonological rules. Acta Linguistica Hungarica 39:93–118.

                                                                                                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                            An experimental study of vacillation in HVH in child language.

                                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                            Loans

                                                                                                                                            Loan words may not conform to the harmony patterns of the language that adopts them, and the changes they undergo (or do not undergo) can reveal interesting phonological properties of the pattern.

                                                                                                                                            • Zsuzsa, Kertész. 2003. Vowel harmony and the stratified lexicon of Hungarian. The Odd Yearbook 7:62–77.

                                                                                                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                              The paper investigates the relationship between disharmony with a verb-forming suffix and the syllable structure of the root in recent loans.

                                                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                              back to top

                                                                                                                                              Article

                                                                                                                                              Up

                                                                                                                                              Down