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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 ?
In this section of the paper I present lexical, acoustic, and morphophonemic evidence for the consonant phonemes of Ganza and their allophones.
Morphophonemics rules are described in XFST using Regular Expressions and Replace Rules.
Nevertheless, whatever the source of borrowing, there are no morphophonemic differences between these loan words, as I will demonstrate below.
(3.) The fact that the Germanic morphophonemic alternations reflect consistently Indo-European allophonic variation has been accepted as a proof that Indo-European resonant system was maintained in Proto-Germanic, possibly until the stage when individual Germanic dialects started to emerge; such view points implicitly to relative conservatism of the Germanic parent language (yet it is not unanimously recognised) (Lehmann 1955: 365).
Given that Bunun does not have phonemic long vowels, the data (22) must involve a vowel lengthening rather than shortening rule, based on the morphophonemic alternations shown.
[...] set[s] up a morpheme A of contrastive stress to which the following morphophonemic rule applies ...
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).
Junko Ito and Armin Mester: Japanese Morphophonemics." Markedness and Word Structure.
The moral is that most analysts appear to postulate two se's in the syntax, but only one in the morphology: they rely on morphophonemics for the passage from one to the other.
Malone's article singles out for discussion a number of influential authors who have focused their research on Heb., including a young Noam Chomsky in his Master's thesis The Morphophonemics of Modern Hebrew (Univ.
There are also references to several contemporary general linguists, e.g., Noam Chomsky, whose "Morphophonemics of Modern Hebrew" (M.A.