Harmony Triggering as a Contrastive Property of Segments

Caitlin Smith


In some languages, segments bearing a potential harmonizing feature trigger harmony while other segments bearing that feature do not. This paper examines such a case in Classical Manchu tongue root harmony, in which some advanced tongue root (ATR) vowels idiosyncratically trigger a process of ATR harmony while others do not. I propose that this pattern and others like it are best accounted for by an analysis in which a segment's status as a trigger of harmony is encoded within its subsegmental representation, and a phonological grammar shapes a language's inventory to include both harmony-triggering and non-triggering segments. This analysis is implemented within the Gestural Harmony Model, in which the assumed units of phonological representation are dynamically-defined gestures.


harmony; exceptionality; gestures

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.3765/amp.v4i0.4015

Copyright (c) 2017 Caitlin Smith

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