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Title:The Typology of Rounding Harmony: An Optimality Theoretic Approach
Authors:Abigail Kaun
Comment:1995 UCLA Dissertation. Requires IPAKiel font
Abstract:This thesis explores the typology of rounding harmony

within the framework of optimality theory. A systematic

survey of the range of attested rounding harmony phenomena

is presented and an analysis of this typology is proposed

which invokes constraints based on perceptual and articulatory

principles. A central element of the theory advanced here

is the claim that vowel harmony is perceptually-motivated.

Harmony serves to extend the duration of phonetic information

which is phonologically important (i.e. distinctive), but

which is transmitted by means of relatively subtle acoustic

cues. Evidence from phonetic studies of vowel articulation

and vowel perception is cited in support of the comprehensive

phonological analysis presented here. It is demonstrated

that the substantive account of the typology of rounding

harmony made possible within optimality theory provides a

very close fit with the observed typological facts, whereas

purely formal, representationally-based phonological theories

allow for no principled or adequately restrictive account of

this range of facts.
Article:Version 1