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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(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.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Once again I would like to point out that the morphophonology of Mari adverbs needs a separate investigation, but a preliminary study did not show noticeable contradictions to the proposed accentuation rule.
Many morphological restrictions on phonological patterns have as their source a one-time sound change that died out but was preserved in the morphophonology of morphological constructions extant at the time of the change.
Chapters Four and Five provide a description of the essentials of morphology and morphophonology respectively.
Based on research and interviews with native speakers over a four-year span in Chile and the Netherlands, this includes an ethnohistory of the Mapuche people, a review of previous studies, and a comprehensive grammar, which includes analyses of phonology and morphophonology, morphology and morphosyntax of the noun, (including nouns, adjectives, adverbs, and numerals), noun phrases and nominal sentences, substantial treatment of verbs (the core of the Mapuche language), particles and, in an appendix, paradigms.
(18.) Depending on one's conception both of morphophonology and of the lexicon, this could be seen as an active process of lenition or, alternatively, as selection from a constellation of related shapes in the lexicon.
The first volume contains the languages and their written sources, a methodological introduction, phonology and morphophonology, morphology and syntax, dialectology, lexicon, homeland and migration patterns, and a brief epilogue.
Issues in Spanish morphophonology; implications for language acquisition.
Similarly, in the realm of morphophonology, the requirement of morpheme realization can be seen as the result of faithfulness constraints on morphemes being ranked higher than faithfulness to prosodic positions which are not morphemes (e.g.
this does not imply that everything the grammar describes is rule-governed behavior." Nevertheless, the vexing question remains of how to write a description which adequately describes the facts, as "MPVM" did, while at the same time plausibly reflecting the kinds of knowledge a Persian-acquiring child might have, which "MPVM" did not.(4) In the time since the publication of that article, a new approach to the description of morphophonology has been developed, one which helps to deal with the welter of historical relics which makes up the Persian verb stem system, and it is to the application of this newer model that I shall now turn.
Morphophonology of the Spanish diminutive formation: a case for prosodic sensitivity.
If we assume that these difficulties constituted a subtle pressure on the generation (or generations) following that of the innovators of (14), these later speakers may have gradually blundered their way into optimizing the morphophonology of their language by repeated lapsus linguae reflecting at least a certain amount of confusion between UJ and A; e.g., by saying instead of (at that time) "correct".