Dagara Tongue-Root Vowel Harmony
Though tongue-root vowel harmony in many Ghanaian languages has been described, there still remain many others which have received little or no description at all. Dagara, a dialect of Dagaare a Mabia language, is one of such dialects. This paper presents a description of Dagara tongue-root vowel harmony using Autosegmental Theory. The paper reveals that Dagara has bi-directional [ATR] harmony with [+ATR] vowels being the triggers of the harmonic process. In the progressive harmony processes, the [+ATR] feature of stem vowels causes [-ATR] vowels of suffixes to change to harmonize with them; in a regressive harmony process, [+ATR] vowels of the suffixes have dominance over those of stems and cause them to change to harmonize. The paper also shows that [f] is an opaque consonant, and blocks [+ATR] harmony spread from stems to suffix vowels. The opacity effect is however unidirectional as there is no evidence of such restriction in left-to-right harmony. The paper concludes that, there is a strict co-occurrence restriction on vowels of words in Dagara.
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© Linguistics Association of Ghana and individual authors, 2019.