Linguistics 251:  Vowel Harmony

Bruce Hayes
Department of Linguistics
UCLA

Spring Quarter 2010

Tuesday/Thursday 2-4 in Rolfe 3118


Downloadable files


Syllabus

PDF format


Course Readings

Introduction

For Thurs. 4/1:   please visit the password-protected page by clicking on the button below.  I will give the password in class or you can ask me at bhayes@humnet.ucla.edu.

For Tues. 4/6:  Clements, George N. and Engin Sezer. 1983. Vowel and consonant disharmony in Turkish. In H. van der Hulst and Norval Smith (eds.) The structure of phonological representations, II. Dordrecht: Foris.

Phonetic studies

For Thurs. 4/8:  Stefan Benus and Adamantios I. Gafos (2007) Articulatory characteristics of Hungarian ‘transparent’ vowels.  Journal of Phonetics 35 (2007) 271–300

For Tues, 4/13:  Rachel Walker Dani Byrd and Fidèle Mpiranya (2008), An articulatory view of Kinyarwanda coronal harmony. Phonology 25:499-535.

Case studies, typology and theory

For Thursday, 4/15:  Sarah Finley (2008) Formal And Cognitive Restrictions On Vowel Harmony, Ph.D. dissertation, Johns Hopkins University. Read specifically: Chapter 2, "Pathological vowel harmony predictions."

For Tuesday, 4/20:  Abigail Kaun (1995) Turkic languages, extract from The Typology of Rounding Harmony: An Optimality Theoretic Approach, UCLA Ph.D. dissertation.

For Thursday, 4/22:  Mark Harvey and Brett Baker (2005) Vowel harmony, directionality, and morpheme structure constraints in Warlpiri. Lingua 115:1457-1474.

For Tuesday, 4/27:  John McCarthy (2004) Headed spans and autosegmental spreading. Ms., UMass., available at the McCarthy web site.

(no class Thurs. 4/29; Bruce away)

For Tuesday 5/4:  Rachel Walker (1999) Guaraní voiceless stops in oral versus nasal contexts: an acoustical study. Journal of the International Phonetic Association 29.1, 63-94.

For Thursday 5/6:  Jennifer Fischer (2009) "Vowel-Height Harmony in Kuria".  M.A. thesis, UCLA.  To download, please visit the password-protected page by clicking on the button below.  I will give the password in class or you can ask me at bhayes@humnet.ucla.edu.

For Tuesday 5/11:  John McCarthy (2009) "Harmony in Harmonic Serialism".  Ms., U. Mass. Amherst.  Rutgers Optimality Archive.

(no class Thurs. 5/13, Bruce away)

For Tuesday 5/18:  John McCarthy (1984) "Theoretical consequences of Montañes vowel harmony" Linguistic Inquiry 15: 291-318.

For Thursday 5/20:  Catherine Ringen and Orvokki Heinamäki (1999) "Variation in Finnish vowel harmony," Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 17:303-337.

For Tuesday 5/25:  Kiparsky, Paul and Karl Pajusalu (2003) Towards a typology of disharmony. The Linguistic Review 20: 217-241.

For Thursday 5/27:   please visit the password-protected page by clicking on the button below.  I will give the password in class or you can ask me at bhayes@humnet.ucla.edu.

Psycholinguistics and experimentation

For Tuesday, 6/1:  Suomi, Kari, James M. McQueen, and Anne Cutler (1997) Vowel harmony and speech segmentation in Finnish. Journal of Memory and Language 36: 422-444.

For Thursday, 6/3:  Extracts (TBA) from Sarah Finley (2008) Formal And Cognitive Restrictions On Vowel Harmony, Ph.D. dissertation, Johns Hopkins University.


Recommended readings

Ajíbóyè, Oládiípò & Douglas Pulleyblank (2008) Moba nasal harmony. Ms., University of Lagos & UBC.

Archangeli, Diana and Douglas Pulleyblank (1989) Yoruba vowel harmony.  Linguistic Inquiry 20:173-217.

Bakovic', Eric (2000) Harmony, dominance, and control.  Rutgers Ph.D. dissertation.

Boyce, Suzanne E. (1990) Coarticulatory organization for lip rounding in Turkish and English. JASA 88:2584-2595.

Gordon, Matthew (1999) The "neutral" vowels of Hungarian:  how neutral are they? Linguistica Uralica 35:1 (1999), pp. 17-21

Sapir, J.David (1975) Big and Thin; Two Diola-Fogny Meta-Linguistic Terms.  Language in Society, 4: 1-15.


Description

Quite a bit of recent literature in phonology has addressed the problem of vowel harmony. I'd like to go through this literature and ponder the issues. The course will cover typology, formal theory, phonetics, and psycholinguistic work.

1) Typology

What harmony systems are out there and how can we compile this information systematically? Work of Kaun, L. Anderson.

2) Theory

Finding a formal phonological theory that matches the typology has proven difficult. Particularly hard issues include the following:

  1. How should theory deal with transparent vowels, those which are "skipped over" by harmony? The problem is made harder by the discovery (in Finnish and Hungarian) of "translucent" vowels, which only permit the harmonizing feature to skip over them in a subset of words. Work of Ringen, Hayes, Zuraw, Londe, Siptár.

  2. How to get the appropriate kinds of directionality? Languages demonstrate stem control, dominant-feature-value control, left-to-right harmony, and right-to-left harmony; it's hard to get just these without others as well. Work of Clements, Lombardi, Bakovi?, McCarthy, Jenn Fischer.

  3. The notorious Vowel Harmony Monsters-impossible harmony systems predicted by classical OT (e.g. majority rule, long-distance blocking). How to avoid them? Work of Lombardi, Wilson, Finley, Bakovi?.

3) Phonetics

Evidence that neutral segments are really undergoers at the allophonic level (Benus and Gafos on Hungarian, Gick et al. on Kinande, Walker et al. on Kinyarwanda). To what extent can this fact be used to simplify the phonological analysis?

4) Psycholinguistic study

Are certain vowel harmony systems preferred under UG? Sara Finley's program of artificial language experiments.


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