Mike rote:

>Morphophonemic, not subphonemic.

By 'subphonemic' i mean any processes which take place before the
phonological level (which i take to exist).  I think my terminology is
justified by the use of the term 'deep' to refer to the level of structure
before surface structure in the syntactic part of a grammar.  By 'sub-' i
thus mean 'deeper than', and this certainly includes all morphophonemic
processes (by definition, otherwise theyd be phonemic).

>(The term morfofonemic is used here in a
>slightly different way than other ways you've heard me use(and misuse) it)
>In describing an orthografy, 'morfofonemic' means that the internal
>of the word is taken into accout and that the phonemics are applied by
>and not word.

What concerns me is that i know of no justification for taking into account
the internal construction of the word in an alphabetic orthography, or
'applying the phonemics by morpheme not word' (whatever that might mean),
and that you do not offer any.

>A few examples of how morfofonemic prinicples can be applied in
>In Korean (I'm making up the examples, but the principles are accurate) A
>/mani/ would be written differently depending upon whether it's a single
>morpheme, in which case it's written  ma-ni  or a morpheme 'man' plus the
>subject marker 'i' in which case it's written man-i. (Korean uses an
>but rites by syllable, not be phoneme)

I am not familiar with the syllable structure of Korean, in which possibly
your second example has the syllabic division which you indicate (this would
violate the maximal onset principle, of course).  In any case, it seems
completely superfluous in Korean or any other language to indicate syllable
divisions in an alphabetic orthography (unless anyone can demonstrate any
language-particular grounds for doing so).

>Similarly, in Hungarian there is massive voicing assimilation, which means
>voiced and voiceless consonants can cluser, but they take on the voicing
>characteristics of the final consonant (this only applies to consonants
>have voiced and voiceless counterparts, like t and d, it doesn't apply to
>So that 'in the town' 'varosban' the 's' /S/ is pronounced [Z].

I don't know what the exact situation is in Hungarian as regards voicing
assimilation, but if it is similar to the analagous process in Russian, then
it is presumably two separate processes, one morphological (morphophonemic)
and one phonological (as in Eng, the im- in 'impossible' is morphological,
with /In/,/Im/,/I/ being allomorphs of the same morpheme, but the [Vm] in
'unbounded' is phonological, being phonemicly /Vn/).  The morphological
process should be represented in the orthography.
(It is not possible to know a priori whether such a pattern is a single
process or two separate process, without consulting the intuition of the
native speaker, and possibly carrying out tests employing careful

>In Polish the morpheme 'sweet' is /slod/ but you add a /k/ (as in the
>'slodki' the d is pronounced like t [slotki]. (Serbo-Croation doesn't
>this principle and you get 'sladek' next to 'slatki' )

As for Hungarian.

>Theres a bit of this in some English spelling (for example when one of the
>tense morphemes is always written -ed) One could justify using 'd' as a
>tense marker even when it's pronounced [t] as in  slipd slepd  and writing
>two morphonemes {Z} as 's'  as in   cats  dogs   Bobs childrens

Even if one was convinced that these morphemes are always phonemicly /d/ and
/z/, as in SPE theory, this would not, apparently, justify writing them as
-s (or -t).
Hoever, the theory that the phonetic forms [t],[s],[Iz],[Id] are
underlyingly /d/,/z/ has never been tested, so far as I know.  I have only
ever seen one very weak piece of evidence advanced in its favor (by Steven
Pinker, from an isolated slip of the tongue).  I am quite certain that if it
were ever subjected to proper testing, it would be found to be quite false,
and that each morpheme has in fact three allomorphs.
As i have said, so far as i know there is no justification for identifying
distinct allomorphs of a morpheme in a single written form in a rational

(though I'd
>only write a vowel when one actually appears).

which seems to indicate that the surface forms [-Iz],[-Id] are not
underlying vowelless for you.  Thus in an optimal orthography, assuming
evryone else has the same tacit knowledge as you, there would be at least
two spellings for each morpheme (-d, -z, -id, -iz).  I have no doubt that
native intuition would also prefer a distinct spelling for the third forms
(-t, -s).

Kordiale, James Chandler
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"The 'linguistic evidence' for a given linguistic theory is like the
evidence that led to quark theory - namely that the theory brings order to a
given domain. That by itself may not indicate what aspects of the theory
correspond to reality and what aspects are artifacts of notation." - Gilbert
Harman, Two quibbles about analyticity and psychological reality, Behavioral
and Brain Sciences 3 (Harmans Hatchet)

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