Fråværet av vokalharmoni i gamalnorsk etter stutt /æ/ og /0/


  • Klaus Johan Myrvoll


Most Old Norwegian dialects are characterised by the existence of vowel harmony, whereby the unstressed vowels i/e and u/o are realised as either high (i, u) or midhigh (e, o) depending on the height of the preceding stressed vowel. H owever, in words with stressed short /æ/ and /0/ no vowel harmony seems to be present, as these low vowels are followed by the unstressed high i and u. In this article previous attempts to explain this deviation from the vowel harmony rule are evaluated and subsequently rejected. Particular attention is given to Jan R agnar H agland’s 1978 proposal, which does not hold up to closer scrutiny. Eventually, the efforts made by L jubiša R ajic´ (1975, 1980) at solving the problem are revived and expanded into a total interpretation where the vowel harmony is seen as a phenomenon that combines both stress, vowel height and, to some extent, vowel length.