Re: Finnish KASKI

From: etherman23
Message: 56016
Date: 2008-03-27

--- In, "Richard Wordingham" <richard@...> wrote:
> --- In, "etherman23" <etherman23@> wrote:
> > The vowel harmony rule would then require that /a/ be a front vowel.
> > The system /i u o e/ is more typologically natural than /a i u o/ and
> > has the requisite rounding and frontness distinctions built in.
> It may look more balanced, but I recall a study that tried to work out
> (and I think failed) to work out why the asymmetric systems /i e a u/
> (presumably also including /i e a o/)

/i e a u/ might be preferred because back vowels are harder to
distinguish, so /a/ is more distinctive than /o/.

> and /i a o u/ were much commoner
> than the symmetric system /i e o u/. Unfortunately, I haven't been
> able to find it again.

I'd be interested to know which, if any, languages have /i a o u/.