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At 9:48 AM +0200 10/23/02, Christophe Grandsire wrote:
>En réponse à David Peterson <[log in to unmask]>:
>
>>
>> Wow!   That's really cool!   But I'm wondering: What happens when more
>> than
>> one suffix is added that has a fixed vowel, but the vowels conflict
>> (e.g.,
>> one from the dominant set, one from the recessive)?   Or do such things
>>
>> happen?
>>
>
>If the terms "dominant" and "recessive" are used in any way comparable with
>their use in biology, I'd say that your question is meaningless, since only
>suffixes with a dominant vowel have a fixed vowel.  The whole point, if I
>understood it correctly, is that a word will have all its vowels in the
>recessive form, unless at least one is a dominant vowel, in which case they
>will all have to become dominant. So a suffix like -qa has a dominant vowel,
>and as such this vowel is fixed (and triggers harmony). It stays always this
>way. On the other hand, the suffix -e has a recessive vowel, and thus
>alternates between -a and -e depending on whether there is a dominant vowel or
>not in the word. In other words, the vowels of the dominant set /i,a,o/ are
>fixed and don't alternate, while the vowels of the recessive set /i,e,u/ are
>*not* fixed and alternate with the corresponding vowels of the dominant set,
>the triggering factor being the presence of an original dominant vowel in the
>word. It's an interesting case where vowel harmony goes only in one direction,
>from recessive to dominant, and never the other way round (hence the
>adjectives "recessive" and "dominant").
>
>Now Dirk, did I understand the feature correctly? ;)))

Exactly right.

Dirk
--
Dirk Elzinga                                               [log in to unmask]

"It is important not to let one's aesthetics interfere with the appreciation of
fact." - Stephen Anderson