J. Stojković (Leipzig): (Vowel) Dissimilation is an Illusion – Looking from Afar
Cf. le site de l'Atelier de phonologie.
This talk concerns a very complex vowel dissimilation pattern in the Afar language (Cushitic; Bliese 1981, Didier 2012, Parker & Hayward 1985): with the particular/singulative and plural morphemes low vowels dissimilate. The two dissimilations differ in resulting vowels /u, i, o/, loci and conditions for application, but are also the only two environments where this alternation is present. Supported with data from outside the nominal domain in Afar, as well as data from a typological survey of 25 languages, I claim that all these cases are misinterpreted and the apparent dissimilation is in fact featural affixation, where the height and place features involved in the change are actually floating information the respective morphemes are specified with.