Kinande vowel harmony: Domains, grounded conditions and one-sided alignment

Diana Archangeli, Douglas Pulleyblank

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


The canonical image of vowel harmony is of a particular feature distributed throughout a word, leading to symmetric constraints like AGREE or SPREAD. Examination of the distribution of tongue-root advancement in Kinande demonstrates that harmonic feature distribution is asymmetric. The data argue that a formal (yet asymmetric) constraint (like ALIGN) is exactly half right: such a constraint correctly characterises the left edge of the harmonic domain. By contrast, the right edge is necessarily characterised by phonetically grounded restrictions on feature co-occurrence. Of further interest is the role of morphological domains: the interaction between domain restrictions on specific constraints and unrestricted constraints suggests a formal means of characterising the overwhelming similarity between constraint hierarchies at different morphological levels while at the same time characterising the distinctions between levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)139-188
Number of pages50
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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