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(also morphophonology), the branch of linguistics that studies the morphological use of phonological means; in the narrower sense, the field of word phonology connected with the sound structure of a morpheme and the changes that a morpheme undergoes when it combines with other morphemes.

Morphophonemics emerged as a separate discipline in the late 1920’s, but its origins are associated with J. A. Baudouin de Courtenay, who demonstrated the interaction of phonetics and grammar in sound alternations and advanced the hypothesis that the phoneme was “the mobile component of a morpheme and the sign of a particular morphological category.”

N. S. Trubetskoi, the founder of morphophonemics, formulated the discipline’s three main tasks: to establish the distinguishing phonological features of morphemes of different classes (for example, inflexions, as distinct from roots or suffixes); to formulate rules for transforming morphemes in morphemic combinations; and to create a theory of morphological sound alternation. Since morphophonemics includes the study of regularities in the occurrence of variant morphs of a single morpheme—regularities dependent on a morpheme’s phonemic composition and, at the same time, its morphological environment—some scholars place morphophonemics under phonology (representatives of transformational and generative grammars), other scholars place it under morphology (the French linguistic school), and still others regard it as the connecting link between phonology and grammar.

Morphophonemic characteristics are considered to include those that are related to the alterations of the morphemes when they are arranged in words (for example, in Russian, between glukhoi, “secluded,” and glush’, “backwoods,” and dikii, “wild,” and dich’ “wild game”). Morphophonemic characteristics may include alternations, the overlap and truncation of morphemes, stress shifts, and so on. Recognizing them is important for describing the morphological structure of a word, for determining the specific nature of the grammatical structure of a language (especially in constructing paradigms and word-formation series), and for comparing languages according to their typology.


Trubetskoi, N. S. “Nekotorye soobrazheniia otnositel’no morfonologii.” In Prazhskii lingvisticheskii kruzhok. Moscow, 1967.
Reformatskii, A. A. “O sootnoshenii fonetiki i grammatiki (morfologii).” In Voprosy grammaticheskogo stroia. Moscow, 1955.
Makaev, E. A., and E. S. Kubriakova. “O statuse morfonologii i edinitsakh ee opisaniia.” In Edinitsy raznykh urovnei grammaticheskogo stroia iazyka i ikh vzaimodeistvie. Moscow, 1969.
Martinet, A. “De la Morphonologie.” La Linguistique, 1965, no. 1.
Kurytowicz, J. “Phonologic und Morphonologie.” In Phonologic der Gegenwart, vol. 14. Graz-Vienna, 1967.
Stankiewicz, E. “The Hierarchization of Features and of Grammatical Functions in Morphophonology.” In Phonologic der Gegenwart, vol. 14. Graz-Vienna, 1967.
Akhmanova, O. Phonology, Morphonology, Morphology. The Hague-Paris, 1971.
References in periodicals archive ?
1Ar/DAr} -> {der} || FrontStem [LMNN | JZ]_]; This rule means that "Replace {1Ar/DAr} to {der} if front syllable ending by one of the characters [l m n n z z] is placed before it" In the same manner all morphophonemics rules are described.
After we described the morphotactics and morphophonemics we need to merge them in finite state transducer network for the analysis and generation.
Nevertheless, whatever the source of borrowing, there are no morphophonemic differences between these loan words, as I will demonstrate below.
Moreover, in Isbukun, the relatively high-ranked constraint WSP directly expresses the correlation between the static distribution of stress in nonsuffixed words and the dynamic assignment of stress in morphophonemic alternations.
These encompass phonology, morphophonemics, and morphology, and as noted above, in Bubenik's article also syntax.
Demorphemicization in (2) describes the transition from morphology to morphophonemics in (1).
The operation is justified only by its effects: though in a footnote (1995: 633 note 30) Bonet hints at a possibly morphophonemic motivation, nothing is said as to why le (rather than lo) should be subject to the "delinking.
Apart from the -r- infix in *sreng and the difference between the "acute" (e) and "grave" (e) finals, about which we can say little at this stage in our knowledge of Old Chinese morphology or morphophonemics, the principal difference between the two words is the presence of the final -s suffix in shinq [less than] *sengs.
25); and morphophonemics is simply never mentioned.
Within the linguistics section, synchronic and diachronic issues in phonology, morphophonemics, morphology, syntax, lexicography and orthography are discussed.
Furthermore, languages rely on morphophonemic processes such as glide formation, vowel deletion, vowel coalescence and consonant (usually glide) epenthesis to resolve hiatus (see Casali, 1996, 1997).
Archaisms, Morphophonemic Metrics, or Variable Rules in the Rig-Veda.