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Vowel system universals and typology: prologue to theory*

  • Roger Lass (a1)

Considering all the work done on vowel system typology and universals in the past half-century (Trubetzkoy 1929, 1939; Hockett Sedlak 1969; Crothers 1978), my title may seem rather arrogant. There are after all theories of vocalic organisation about, or at least models and taxonomies; there are even attempts to explain why certain implicational universals seem to hold (from Jakobson's [laws of solidarity] (1968) to the more sophisticated treatments in Liljencrants & Lindblom 1972; Kim 1973; etc.).

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