David Ta-Chun Shen

The Hungarian vowel harmony in the Visibility Theory revisited

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Instead of the conventional underspecifi cation practice for the vowel harmony phenomenon in Hungarian within the rule-based tradition, Visibility Theory, which fully specifi es feature values underlyingly, presents an alternative. I propose that the marked feature [+back] from a root spreads onto the contrastive affi x features, which realizes the back alternant of a given affi x. If the process does not apply, the default front alternant is retained. The utility of the Visibility Theory for the Hungarian vowel harmony, accompanied with the diffi culty facing underspecifi cation, yearns for a re-boost pertinent to the Visibility Theory and/or full specifi cation.


  • Derivational Phonology with Markedness and Economy
  • full specifi cation
  • Visibility Theory
  • Hungarian
  • vowel harmony
  • underspecifi cation


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