South African Journal of African Languages

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Mid-vowels and vowel harmony in Civili

Hugues Steve Ndinga-Koumba-Binza


This article highlights the phenomenon of vowel harmony in Civili. The distinctive features of vowels are determined in order to analyze the vowel harmony system, and later to explain the distinction between respective problematic vowels in the vowel system. Vowel harmony in Civili is elaborated according to these propositions for vowels’ distinctive features. For vowel harmony in Civili both [+ATR] and [-ATR] are required. On the assumption that vowel harmony is feature filling, a vowel in Civili is unspecified for +ATR/-ATR and receives its value for this feature by spreading.

S.Afr.J.Afr.Lang.,2006, 1

AJOL African Journals Online