LINGUIST List 9.1367

Thu Oct 1 1998

Books: Phonology

Editor for this issue: Scott Fults <>

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  1. Rint Sybesma, K. Polgardi, Vowel harmony

Message 1: K. Polgardi, Vowel harmony

Date: Thu, 01 Oct 1998 16:11:00 +0200
From: Rint Sybesma <>
Subject: K. Polgardi, Vowel harmony

Vowel harmony. An account in terms of Governement and

by Krisztina Polgardi

Vowel harmony deals with some theoretical problems
concerning the phenomenon of vowel harmony, in a framework
combining insights from Government Phonology, Optimality
Theory and Lexical Phonology. The study introduces and
motivates the general framework and examines three issues.
The first concerns the typology of vowel harmony systems and
how an element-based feature theory, comprised of the three
elements I, A and U and supplemented by the property of
headedness, can account for all the different types of harmony.
The second concerns the domain of harmony and the question
of how to handle disharmonicity in the proposed model. The
third involves the so-called neutral vowels, i.e. those vowels in
a system that do not have a harmonic counterpart. It is
claimed that the behaviour of neutral vowels can be predicted
from their segmental make-up and from particular properties
of the vowel systems involved. 
 Polgrdi argues that the theory of Government Phonology
(a principles-and-parameters approach) needs to be
supplemented by constraint ranking, because certain types of
phenomena cannot be accounted for otherwise. Since ranking is
shown to be necessary, language variation can now be
exclusively expressed by this device, and the notion of param-
eters can be abandoned. Polgrdi also argues that a
non-derivational version of the Strict Cycle Condition also
needs to be incorporated into the theory to account for so-called
derived environment effects (of which disharmonicity is shown
to be an example).

1998. xii+200 pp. isbn 90-5569-046-5. Paperback. LOT Interna-
tional Series 3. HIL/Leiden University dissertation. Price for
individuals ordering directly from the publisher: NLG 36,90,
excl. VAT and P&P.

Holland Academic Graphics, The Hague <>;

Rint Sybesma
Holland Academic Graphics

PO Box 53292
2505 AG The Hague
The Netherlands

fax: +31 70 448 0177
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1998 Contributors

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