Computing Long-Distance Dependencies in Vowel Harmony

Frédéric Mailhot, Charles Reiss

Abstract


This article develops an explicit procedural model of vowel harmony, and takes steps toward finding a lower bound on the computational power of phonological rules. The focus on formalization and procedural computation allows for simplification in models of representation and the discovery of interesting interactions involving the conditions in rules. It is shown that locality principles are derivable, which motivates the elimination of iterative rule application advocated here. Along the way, a novel analysis of neutral vowels in harmony processes is also provided.

Keywords


vowel harmony, locality, precedence, phonological computation

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