Icy Targets in Karajá ATR Harmony as Contrast Preservation

Avery Ozburn, Marjorie Leduc


This paper presents a novel application of Contrast Preservation (Lubowicz 2003) to analyze a puzzling pattern of icy targets (Jurgec 2011). Icy targets are segments which harmonize but then block the spread of harmony, and a particularly theoretically challenging type is present in Karajá, in which derived and underlying [+ATR] high vowels behave differently (Ribeiro 2002;2012). We show that this harmony pattern can be successfully analyzed by considering the behaviour of these icy targets as a form of contrast preservation, where high [-ATR] vowels must harmonize when followed by a [+ATR] vowel, but the underlying contrast between [-ATR] and [+ATR] high vowels is preserved on any preceding vowels. The icy target effect thus emerges as a way to compromise between the pressure to harmonize high vowels and the pressure to preserve underlying ATR contrasts in high vowels. In this way, we extend Contrast Preservation Theory to include vowel harmony patterns, opening new opportunities to analyze puzzling patterns as a choice in which contrasts to preserve.


Karajá; ATR harmony; Contrast Preservation

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.3765/amp.v9i0.5190

Copyright (c) 2022 Avery Ozburn, Marjorie Leduc

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