2011 LSA Orthography Symposium

Orthography and phonological depth

Author  Snider, Keith L.
  SIL International/Trinity Western University

Which level of phonological depth should be represented orthographically seems to be locked into theories that predate the 1970’s. Typically, only two options receive serious consideration: the classical phoneme (shallow orthography) and the morphophoneme (deep orthography). Consistently representing either form is problematic, however, and the present work demonstrates why neither approach can be recommended as a general strategy. Stratal approaches to phonology, however, with claims that native speakers are more aware of the output of the lexical phonology than of any other phonological level, offer a worthy third set of alternatives. Employing examples of morphophonemic alternations from a number of different languages, the present work demonstrates that regardless of whether the preferred orthographical representation is phonemic or morphophonemic, the level that works best from a practical viewpoint is consistently the output of the lexical phonology.

Downloads  Orthography and Phonological Depth (PDF) 129 KB, 14 pages
  Orthography and Phonological Depth - handout (PDF) 72 KB, 7 pages