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Share Paper 2688

Computational Characterizations of Vowel Harmony Patterns and Pathologies
Brian Gainor, Regine Lai, and Jeffrey Heinz
63-71 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


This paper provides a computational analysis of 39 attested vowel harmony patterns in a recent typological analysis (Nevins 2010), in addition to two unattested harmony patterns which have attracted considerable discussion: 'majority rules' (Lombardi 1999, Bakovic 2000) and 'sour grapes' (Padgett 1995). It is shown that the attested patterns are subsequential. The two unattested ones are not. We therefore hypothesize that subsequentiality is a universal property of vowel harmony. Furthermore, this property is stronger (i.e., more restrictive) than previously established computational universals.

Published in

Proceedings of the 29th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics
edited by Jaehoon Choi, E. Alan Hogue, Jeffrey Punske, Deniz Tat, Jessamyn Schertz, and Alex Trueman
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Printed edition: $375.00