View table of contents for this book View table of contents for LinguaLinksLibrary Go to LinguaLinks home page
 

What is a morphophonemic rule?

 

Definition
 

A morphophonemic rule has the form of a phonological rule, but is restricted to a particular morphological environment.

Discussion
 

Morphophonemic rules are sensitive to their environment, unlike phonological rules. Whenever morphological information is required to specify the environment for an allophonic rule, the rule is morphophonemic.

Examples
 
  • The prefix /in-/ has the allomorphs [il] and [ir]:
 

/in-/ + responsible

irresponsible

/in-/ + logical

illogical

 

The rules n G l / __l and n G r / __r are not phonological rules in English, however. If they were, the prefixes /un-/ and /non-/ would also exhibit this regular pattern, but they do not.

 

/un-/ + responsive

(*urresponsive)

unresponsive

/un-/ + limited

(*ullimited)

unlimited

/non-/ + retroactive

(*nor-retroactive)

non-retroactive

/non-/ + lethal

(*nol-lethal)

non-lethal

 

Therefore, there must be a morphophonemic rule which determines the allomorphs [il] and [ir] of the prefix /in-/.

Source
 

Payne, T.1997a:23–24


Context for this page:

Go to SIL home page This page is an extract from the LinguaLinks Library, Version 5.0 published on CD-ROM by SIL International, 2003. [Ordering information.]

Page content last modified: 5 January 2004

© 2004 SIL International