Votian/Vowel Harmony

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Vowel harmony [1][edit]

Back Front
i
u ü
o ö
e
a ä


Rules[edit]

  • Every back vowel has it's counterpart among front vowels.
  • Originally a word and it's suffixes could have either back vowels or front vowels only and never both of them.
  • In practical terms, we might say that, if a word stem has any back vowel, then every suffix added to it may have back vowels only and vice versa e.g. levvettä vs. ve̮te̮tta [2].
    • i is an exception, because it's counterpart occurres only in very recent Russian loanwords [3].

E.g. levvettī vs. ve̮te̮ttī [4].


Exceptions[edit]

  • CERTAIN SUFFIXES DO NOT FOLLOW VOWEL HARMONY RULES.
  1. ö is found in the first syllable only, excluding some Ingrian and Finnish loanwords and derivation suffixes [5]. Thus the following suffixes have no front vowel alternative:
    1. pesi-ko ('Did he wash?')
    2. elkō jättä ('Let him not leave (it)!') [6]
    3. tüttär-ikko ('girl')
    4. pette-likko ('cheatful')
    5. petä-zikko ('pine forest')
    6. -tō ('headless')
  2. Votian Imperative endings have back and front alternatives only in Lüganuse (and Kodavere) dialects [7]
    1. -kā ('Eat!')
  3. The following suffixes have no front vowel alternative either:
    1. leivǟ-kā ('with bread')
    2. vere-kaz ('bloody')
    3. päivü-kke̮in ('sun')
    4. venä-лain ('a Russian')
    5. ȫ-nikka ('the one who spends a night (in a dorm etc.)')
    6. tšülǟ-ssā ('to the village (edge)')
    7. viďďe-ttomā ('the fifth's' <= genitive of viďďe-tō)
  • CERTAIN ONOMATOPOETIC WORDS DO NOT FOLLOW VOWEL HARMONY RULES.
    • E.g. rǟkku ('shout')
  • CERTAIN LOANWORDS DO NOT FOLLOW VOWEL HARMONY RULES.
    • E.g. rǟtua ('in lines' ~ Russian: ряд)
  • SOME OLD COMPOUND WORDS DO NOT FOLLOW VOWEL HARMONY RULES.
    • E.g. kasta ('this' (partitive of ka-ze))
    • E.g. kaneita ('these ~ them' (partitive of ka-ne))
  • SOME OLD COMPOUND WORDS REPRESENT REGRESSIVE VOWEL HARMONY.
    • E.g. ähüppǟlē ('onto an oven' < *ahjon pǟllen)


Vaiga and Alutaguse dialects[edit]

  1. Front vowels were finally preserved only in the second syllables before they were completely replaced with their back counterparts e.g. käsku ('order, demand' in Lüganuse dialect < *käskü ) or süö-Du ('eaten' in Lüganuse dialect < *süö-Dü ).
  2. Nevertheless was replaced with e like in Mid Estonian dialect).
  3. e may have substituted ä in some words [8] e.g. lüpse ('to milk (a cow)' in Lüganuse dialect < lüpsä).
  4. ä may have falsely substituted a following a syllable, which includes e or i, even though the stem could have back vowels [9] e.g. ammaste ('with teeth' in Lüganuse dialect), e̮liväD ('they were').
  5. ä may have substituted even e of the second syllable, if the first syllable includes ä or ü [10] e.g. üläs ('upwards' in Lüganuse dialect < üles) or ('onto' in Lüganuse dialect < *lle ).
  6. ü may have been substituted by i in the second syllable of a stem, if the first syllable includes a short ü e.g. tüli [11] ('quarrel' in Lüganuse dialect) or püssiD ('guns' in Lüganuse dialect < *püssüD ).
    • In Lüganuse dialect only the a | ä opposition remained active [12] e.g. jättäGä ('Leave (it)!') vs. tuoGa ('Bring (it)!') or tüöGä ('with work') vs. maaGa ('with earth').
      • The u | ü opposition has left only rudiments [13] e.g. küsütti ('it was asked') or kinniDettüD ('fixed').
      • There are traces of late o | ö opposition like in Eastern Vaivara dialects [14] e.g. örsöttämä ('to boast').

References[edit]

  1. Ariste, Paul Vadja keele grammatika. Tartu, 1948. p. 8
  2. Votian indefinite imperative
  3. Votian phonology
  4. Votian imperfect tense of indefinite voice
  5. Votian phonology
  6. Votian Imperative
  7. Must, Mari 1987. Kirderannikumurre: häälikuline ja grammatiline ülevaade. p. 135, 255
  8. Must, Mari 1987. Kirderannikumurre: häälikuline ja grammatiline ülevaade. p. 136
  9. Must, Mari 1987. Kirderannikumurre: häälikuline ja grammatiline ülevaade. p. 137
  10. Must, Mari 1987. Kirderannikumurre: häälikuline ja grammatiline ülevaade. p. 138
  11. Must, Mari 1987. Kirderannikumurre: häälikuline ja grammatiline ülevaade. p. 139
  12. Must, Mari 1987. Kirderannikumurre: häälikuline ja grammatiline ülevaade. p. 135, 137, 255
  13. Must, Mari 1987. Kirderannikumurre: häälikuline ja grammatiline ülevaade. p. 139
  14. Must, Mari 1987. Kirderannikumurre: häälikuline ja grammatiline ülevaade. p. 139

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