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Raymond Brown wrote:
>
>That, surely, is the nasal *spread* that Matt was referring to?
>
>I could see no examples of vowel harmony in any of the examples.  In =
all
>the cases of vowel harmony I can think of (quite a few), a _different_
>vowel is required in affixes, usually suffixes, to harmonize with =
features
>such as round/unround, front/back, tense/lax.


Well, just because none of the examples quoted had affixes to=20
demonstrate that, it does not mean that there isn't a harmonizing=20
feature. From what I recall from another source, the choice of a=20
singularizing suffix depends on whether the stem is nasal or oral.=20
Drawing from memory Desano has for instance:

     _nasal_                 _oral_
     [w~a~i~]   'name(s)'    [wai]   'fish(es)'
     [w~a~i~o~] 'one name'   [wairo] 'one fish'

So the suffix [-o~] is used with nasal stems, while [-ro] is used=20
with oral stems.  You need a nasal suffix with a _nasal_ vowel for=20
nasal stems, and you need an oral suffix with an _oral_ vowel for=20
oral stems. IMO, this is just like the requirement needed in=20
languages with front/back vowel harmony; needing suffix with front=20
vowels for stems with front vowels, and needing a suffix with back=20
vowels for stems with back vowels. But in this case, its not=20
front/back that is the determining feature, rather, it is nasal/oral=20
that is the determining feature.

>In all the examples quoted in Desano, as far as I can see there is _no
>difference_ in roundness or unroundness, front/back or whatever.  The =
vowel
>is pronounced in the same place with the same lip formation and the =
same
>degree of tenseness or laxity whether it is nasalized or not.

That's because it is not roundness or front/back or whatever else=20
that is the harmonizing feature. It is nasality!! There is a=20
difference in nasality!! See above.

>The nasalization affects _consonants_ also.  It seems to me we a =
feature of
>nasality which spreads across a domain that effects both vowels and
>consonants (even tho some consonants 'resist' it), i.e. 'nasal spread'.


Now I'm confused. Doesn't spreading and vowel harmony have a lot to=20
do with each other? The reason why nasalization spreads to consonants=20
as well is because nasality is a feature that can indeed be easily=20
applied to consonants. Other vowel features that are harmonized like=20
front/back or roundness are not that easily applied (if at all like=20
front/back) to consonants. In other words, vowel features like=20
front/back 'spreads' less easily across vowels in a morpheme than=20
nasality. So front/back harmony is much like saying 'front/back=20
spreading, just as well as nasal harmony is much like saying 'nasal=20
spreading'.

I'm approaching all this from a multi-tier phonological perspective.=20
So I can draw harmonizing or spreading features on a separate tier=20
than the segmental tier. Both nasality of Desano and the front/back=20
feature of Mongolian vowel harmony can be represented on a separate=20
phonological tier than the segmental tier. Consider:

_Desano_
     suprasegmental tier   [+nasal]
                            /|  \
     segmental tier         johso -> [Jo~hso~] 'kind of bird'

_Mongolian_
     suprasegmental tier   [-back]
                             / | \
     segmental tier         kobagun -> [k=F8begyn] 'boy, son'

(Mongolian example courtesy of "An Introduction to Phonology" by=20
Francis Katamba)

So from a multi-tier perspective, IMHO, there isn't much difference=20
between the front/back vowel harmony (or spreading) from nasal=20
harmony (or spreading).

Or have I utterly misunderstood something again?=20

Desperate to learn! ;-)

-kristian- 8)