OLAC Record

Title:Remnants of ATR Vowel Harmony in Suri
Abstract:Suri is a member of the Southeast Surmic subgroup which is a part of the Eastern Sudanic phylum of the Nilo-Saharan language family and is spoken in the southwestern part of Ethiopia. The two main dialects of Suri are Tirmaga and Chai. The Southeast Surmic languages have been correctly described as having seven vowels with no obvious ATR vowel harmony system, unlike the languages of the Southwest Surmic group, which have nine/ten vowels and an ATR-based vowel harmony system (Yigezu 2008:259-261). Yigezu states that the Southeast Surmic languages probably had a nine/ten vowel system historically like their Southwest Surmic counterparts. Research presented in this paper will provide evidence that the Suri vowel system indeed may have historically been a nine vowel system. This research looks at the vowel variations between /a/ and /o/ in some of the verb suffixes. The occurrence of these suffixes can only be explained by assuming a frozen vowel harmony process since both /a/ and /o/ suffixes occur with present day +ATR stems. It also seems that the derivational suffixes show historical traces of ATR harmony while the inflectional suffixes do not. These remnants of ATR vowel harmony in a Southeast Surmic language may give further evidence that there indeed was an historical nine/ten vowel system which involved ATR vowel harmony in Proto-South Surmic, if not even in Proto-Surmic.
Contributor (author):Bryant, Mike
Date (W3CDTF):2009
Description (URI):http://www.sil.org/resources/archives/59579
Extent:13 pages
Language (ISO639):eng
Spatial Coverage (ISO3166):ET
Subject:Suri language
ATR vowel harmony
Subject (ISO639):suq
Type (DCMI):Text
Type (OLAC):language_description


Archive:  SIL Language and Culture Archives
Description:  http://www.language-archives.org/archive/sil.org
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OAI Info

OaiIdentifier:  oai:sil.org:59579
DateStamp:  2013-04-27
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Search Info

Citation: Bryant, Mike. 2009. SIL Language and Culture Archives.
Terms: area_Africa area_Europe country_ET country_GB dcmi_Text iso639_eng iso639_suq olac_language_description

Inferred Metadata

Country: Ethiopia
Area: Africa

Up-to-date as of: Mon Jun 15 6:02:14 EDT 2015