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Vowel harmony as a cue for phonological phrasing

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  • UserProf Frank K├╝gler (Goethe Universit├Ąt Frankfurt)
  • ClockThursday 27 October 2022, 17:00-18:30
  • HouseEnglish Faculty, GR05.

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Vowel harmony is usually analysed as a word-level process. In this talk, I will show empirical data on vowel harmony exceeding the word. The data is based on Anum, a Kwa language spoken in Ghana. Anum employs a pattern of [ATR] vowel harmony that is regressive and [+ATR] dominant. Vowel harmony applies frequently between words that belong to either the same or to different syntactic constituents, but is blocked between certain constituents. In this talk, I argue to analyse vowel harmony between words as a phrasal process considering recursive phonological phrases. I offer an OT analysis which is couched within syntax-phonology Match Theory. The proposal argues for an application of the process within and across non-maximal phonological phrases and a blocking of application across maximal phonological phrases.

This talk is part of the Cambridge Linguistics Forum series.

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