Asymmetries in Vowel Harmony: A Representational Account

ISBN : 9780198813576

Harry van der Hulst
528 Pages
156 x 234 mm
Pub date
Aug 2018
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This book deals with the phenomenon of vowel harmony, a phonological process whereby all the vowels in a word are required to share a specific phonological property, such as front or back articulation. Vowel harmony occurs in the majority of languages of the world, though only in very few European languages, and has been a central concern in phonological theory for many years. In this volume, Harry van der Hulst puts forward a new theory of vowel harmony, which accounts for the patterns of and exceptions to this phenomenon in the widest range of languages ever considered. The book begins with an overview of the general causes of asymmetries in vowel harmony systems. The two following chapters provide a detailed account of a new theory of vowel harmony based on unary elements and licensing, which is embedded in a general dependency-based theory of phonological structure. In the remaining chapters, this theory is applied to a variety of vowel harmony phenomena from typologically diverse


List of abbreviations
Part I: A new theory of vowel harmony
1 Opacity and transparency in vowel harmony
2 The RcvP model
3 Harmony as licensing
Part II: Case studies
4 Palatal harmony
5 Labial harmony
6 Aperture harmony
7 African tongue root systems: Typology
8 African tongue root systems: Case studies
9 Asian tongue root systems
10 Other cases of vowel harmony
11 Summary and further research
Language index
Subject index

About the author: 

Harry van der Hulst is Professor of Linguistics and Director of Undergraduate Studies at the University of Connecticut. His particular research interests include stress, syllabic structure, segmental structure, sign language, gesture, language evolution, and phonological acquisition. His many books include The Phonological Structure of Words: An Introduction (with Colin Ewen; CUP 2001) and, as editor, Word Stress (CUP 2014) and he is Editor-in-Chief of the journal The Linguistic Review.

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