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As a theory of phonological representation, autosegmental phonology developed a formal account of ideas that had been sketched in earlier work by several linguists, notably Bernard Bloch (1948), Charles Hockett (1955) and J. R. Firth (1948). On such a view, phonological representations consist of more than one linear sequence of segments; each linear sequence constitutes a separate tier. The co-registration of elements (or autosegments) on one tier with those on another is represented by association lines. There is a close relationship between analysis of segments into distinctive features and an autosegmental analysis; each feature in a language appears on exactly one tier. The working hypothesis of autosegmental analysis is that a large part of phonological generalizations can be interpreted as a restructuring or reorganization of the autosegments in a representation. Clear examples of the usefulness of autosegmental analysis came in early work from the detailed study of African tone languages, as well as the study of vowel and nasal harmony systems. A few years later, John McCarthy proposed an important development by showing that the vocalism and consonantism of Arabic could be analyzed autosegmentally.