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165053Re: Vowel Harmony?

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  • John Vertical
    Sep 7, 2009
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      >Another thing I like the idea of (I think I tried it out in the Conlang
      >Evolotion Experiment, but talideon wiki is down at the moment) is what I
      >call a "vowel melody" system, mainly on the ground that I don't know a
      >better term for it. There's an underlying three-vowel system, but each
      >vowel assimilates towards the following one, eg
      >katiru > ketyru
      >surami > soremi
      >So we have a total of six vowels
      >i y u
      > e o
      > a
      >where subsequent syllables must contain vowels which are either
      >identical or adjecent in the triangle, and the final vowel of a word
      >must be at an apex of the triangle.
      >Any real-life examples of such a system, and what would it be called?

      Umlaut, basically?

      Except maybe for the part where each feature can only spred one vowel
      leftwards (eg. /katiru/ being [ketyru] rather than [k2tyru]). If you did
      that, all vowels from the antepenult left would probably be the same, and
      also likely [2], so I think that's aesthetically very justified.

      AFMCL, haven't done much with harmony, but one language sketch spontaneously
      develop'd a height harmony of sorts, with /e a o/ in one group and /E Q O/
      in another. By "spontaneously develop'd" I mean I was looking over the
      corpus (at a stage of just a few dozen words) and spotted the pattern.
      Funny, that.

      For another example, Proto-Sundan' has a system of total harmony - every
      vowel in a word must be the same (inventory: /i u\ u e 8 o a/). As an
      exception, /a/ is allowed as a final vowel. The interesting part, however,
      is probably how this then breiks down in the descendantsÂ… but I've mostly
      not work'd that out yet.

      (IIRC there are some varieties of Mongolian that have total harmony)

      John Vertical
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