Article

Vowel Harmony

Harry van der Hulst

in Linguistics

ISBN: 9780199772810
Published online October 2011 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199772810-0087
Vowel Harmony

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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.

Article.  7292 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics ; Anthropological Linguistics ; Language Families ; Psycholinguistics ; Sociolinguistics

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