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Eric Christopherson skrev:
 > On Jan 19, 2007, at 5:19 AM, Benct Philip Jonsson wrote:
 >> Of course /a i u/ is a perfectly possible vowel system.
 >> May the other vowels have arisen as positional
 >> allophones? In Kijeb i let umlaut phenomena transform a
 >> 3-vowel system into an 9-vowel system, which then shrinks
 >> to 6 or 5 vowels through mergers -- the merger patterns
 >> being different in different dialects -- and the rise of
 >> vowel harmony, which then in one dialect turns again into
 >> an 8-vowel system through loss of intervocalic /j w G h/
 >> and monophthongization of the resulting diphthongs which
 >> gives rise to front rounded vowels which did not exist in
 >> the 6- vowel system. Phew, got all that ;-)
 >
 > How did you go about deriving vowel harmony? (Jörg, same
 > question!) I have some ideas about it, but I'd like to see
 > how others go about it.

Classical Sohlob and Kidilib vowel harmony is a vowel height
harmony, thus Classical Sohlob has the vowel system:

	        FRONT   CENTRAL BACK

	HIGH    i       i\      u

	LOW     &       a       Q

The vowels of all non-initial (i.e. not primary stressed)
syllables simply changed their height value to agree with
that of the first syllable vowel, while retaining their 
back-central-
frontness value, i.e.

* /&/ > /i/, /a/ > /i\/, /Q/ > /u/ if the vowel of the first
   syllable is one of /i/, /i\/ or /u/,

and vice versa

* /i/ > /&/, /i\/ > /a/, /u/ > /Q/ if the vowel of the first
   syllable is one of /&/, /a/ or /Q/.

Kidilib differs mainly in having merged /i/ and /i\/ at a
later time, so that both /&/ and /a/ in low vowel words
correspond to /i/ in high vowel words.

Heleb is somewhat more complicated:

1. Before postvocalic /j w G h/ were lost any back or
    central vowel next to a /j/ was fronted, creating front
    rounded [y 9] allophones of /u Q/.

2. When postvocalic /j w G h/ fell these front allophones
    were phonemicized.

3.  The resulting VV sequences were smoothed out to single
     long vowels according to various patterns.

4. Long vowels attracted the word stress.

5. Central unrounded vowels were reinterpreted as back
    unrounded.

6. Unstressed vowels were forced to agree in frontness with
    the stressed vowel of the word, similar to the earlier
    height harmony change. This created instances of short
    front rounded vowels, and the following vowel system:

	        FRONT           BACK

	HIGH    i(:)    y(:)    M(:)    u(:)

	LOW     &(:)    9(:)    A(:)    Q(:)

Where all vowels of the same word must have the same value
for height *and* frontness.

-- 


/BP 8^)>
--
Benct Philip Jonsson -- melroch at melroch dot se

    a shprakh iz a dialekt mit an armey un flot

                                 (Max Weinreich)