A featural paradox in Votic harmony
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- Blumenfeld, L. & Toivonen, I. Nat Lang Linguist Theory (2016) 34: 1167. doi:10.1007/s11049-016-9329-9
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In this paper we present a novel argument against strict locality in vowel harmony: a vowel’s feature may have a double identity, active in one process and neutral in another. Such is the behavior of [back] in Votic [i]. It is invisible to harmony, while simultaneously triggering an assimilation process. We argue that no feature-sharing account of this phenomenon is plausible, including the relatively powerful extension of Span Theory that permits vowels in a harmonic span to remain unassociated (and unharmonized) with the span’s head. We offer instead an account based on the Agreement-By-Correspondence approach to long-distance assimilation.