[Ura-list] Call: vowel harmony

Pekka Sammallahti pekka.sammallahti at oulu.fi
Tue Jul 30 04:46:58 EDT 2019

To those who may not remember: There was a symposium on vowel harmony in Uralic languages in the Turku conference back in 1980.


Pekka Sammallahti

From: owner-ura-list at helsinki.fi <owner-ura-list at helsinki.fi> on behalf of Fejes László <fejes.laszlo at gmail.com>
Sent: Tuesday, July 30, 2019 10:46:08 AM
To: ura-list at helsinki.fi <ura-list at helsinki.fi>
Subject: Call: vowel harmony

The XIII International Congress for Finno-Ugric Studies will take place in Vienna on August 16–21, 2020. The programme includes a symposium on vowel harmony in Uralic languages.

Vowel harmony is considered to be a feature typical of Uralic languages. Vowel harmony (front/back) is reconstructed for Proto-Uralic, Proto-Samoyedic and Proto-Finno-Ugric. Many of the contemporary Uralic languages have preserved vowel harmony, although the pattern has changed compared to the original (reconstructed) one. Other languages have lost the original vowel harmony, but some of these have developed a new vowel harmony system. Sometimes there are considerable differences between the dialects of the same language.

Our knowledge of vowel harmony in Uralic languages is very limited. There is only sporadic information available in handbooks on various Uralic languages. Therefore we invite papers on the following topics:

From a historical perspective:

- reconstructing vowel harmony for earlier (undocumented) stages of language history;
- vowel harmony in linguistic records (archives, databases, etc): problems and possibilities of analysis.

From a dialectological perspective:

- detailed description of vowel harmony in specific dialects;
- comparative description of vowel harmony systems in different dialects of the same language.

From a sociolinguistic perspective:

- vowel harmony and language death: vowel harmony in the language of semi-speakers;
- vowel harmony in indicating style, register etc.

From the perspective of language contact:

- phenomena in vowel harmony that result from language contact;
- emergence, development or disappearance of vowel harmony as a result of language contact;
- areal features of vowel harmony.

From a typological perspective:

- vowel harmony in Uralic languages from a cross-linguistic point of view;
- contrastive study of vowel harmony systems in different Uralic languages.

From a theoretical perspective:

- exceptionality in harmony;
- disharmony and antiharmony;
- variation in harmony;
- neutrality in harmony;
- the domain of harmony;
- phonetic bases of harmony;
- morphological factors in vowel harmony;
- experimental studies of vowel harmony.

Papers investigating less studied Uralic languages (i.e. other than Hungarian, Finnish or Estonian) have preference.

The languages of the symposium are English and Russian. If your talk is in Russian, having the visual support of your presentation (slides, handout) in English is recommended.

Papers based on the presentations will be published in a special number of Acta Linguistica Academica.


Fejes, László (RIL HAS)
Rebrus, Péter (RIL HAS)
Szigetvári, Péter (ELTE)
Törkenczy, Miklós (ELTE, RIL HAS)

Contact person:

Fejes, László (fejesnytud.hu<http://fejesnytud.hu>)

Abstract proposals must be submitted by September 30, 2019, using the electronic submission tool (https://cifu13.univie.ac.at/call/online-submission/). Please, remember to select symposium B.4 Vowel harmony.

The abstracts must be in English. If your presentation is in Russian, please, give the title in Russian. The maximum length of each abstract is 3000 characters. Each participant can submit maximally two abstracts: one as the lead author (presenting author), one as a co-author. Abstracts which for technical or thematic reasons cannot be included into our symposium will be reviewed as potential section papers.

You will be notified of the acceptance or rejection of your paper by March 1, 2020. The accepted abstracts will be published on the congress website. (In case the author of an accepted abstract does not register at the congress, the abstract will be removed.)

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