A Non-cumulative Pattern in Vowel Harmony: a Frequency-Based Account

Péter Rebrus, Miklós Törkenczy


Variation in Hungarian front/back suffix harmony is conditioned by the number and height of the neutral vowels intervening between the last back vowel of the stem and the harmonising suffix (the "Count Effect" and the "Height Effect," respectively). This paper examines whether the Height Effect applies cumulatively in an environment where the Count Effect also applies. We find that the unexpected non-cumulative behaviour in an environment can be explained in an analogical model that crucially refers to the frequency of forms and present a quantified model that predicts the measured harmonic behaviour on the basis of the harmonic behaviour, the similarity and the frequency of the analogically related stem classes.


vowel harmony; variation; frequency; Hungarian; analogy

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.3765/amp.v3i0.3692

Copyright (c) 2016 Péter Rebrus, Miklós Törkenczy

License URL: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/