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Kinande vowel harmony: domains, grounded conditions and one-sided alignment

  • Diana Archangeli (a1) and Douglas Pulleyblank (a2)
Abstract

The canonical image of vowel harmony is of a particular feature distributed throughout a word, leading to symmetric constraints like AGREE or SPREAD. Examination of the distribution of tongue-root advancement in Kinande demonstrates that harmonic feature distribution is asymmetric. The data argue that a formal (yet asymmetric) constraint (like ALIGN) is exactly half right: such a constraint correctly characterises the left edge of the harmonic domain. By contrast, the right edge is necessarily characterised by phonetically grounded restrictions on feature co-occurrence. Of further interest is the role of morphological domains: the interaction between domain restrictions on specific constraints and unrestricted constraints suggests a formal means of characterising the overwhelming similarity between constraint hierarchies at different morphological levels while at the same time characterising the distinctions between levels.

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Thanks to Henry Davis, Cathy Hicks, Eun-Sook Kim and Tyler Peterson for discussion of various aspects of this paper. We give a special thanks to Ngessimo Mutaka of the University of Yaoundé for repeated discussion of the Kinande harmony facts, as well as for assistance with data. Diana Archangeli's work was supported in part by NSF grant #BNS-9023323; Douglas Pulleyblank's work was supported by SSHRC grant #410-97-1369. The names of the authors appear in alphabetical order.
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Phonology
  • ISSN: 0952-6757
  • EISSN: 1469-8188
  • URL: /core/journals/phonology
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