Can someone help me to translate this morphophonemic rule?

V ⇒ ∅ / C ___ + V

Vowels become null in the environment ...

What is "...", i.e., what is the environment translated into English?

  • 1
    A vowel deletes if it is simultaneously preceded by a consonant, and followed by a heteromorphemic vowel. – user6726 Dec 21 '16 at 15:25
  • The rule into English. The second part is what I can't translate after '/' or 'in the environment'. – Pearl Dec 21 '16 at 15:27
  • What does "+" mean? – Pearl Dec 21 '16 at 15:34
  • V = vowel ⇒ = become ∅ = null / = in the environment C = consonant __ = before + = ?? V = vowel Does anyone know what does '+' stand for? – Pearl Dec 21 '16 at 15:38
  • @Pearl Morpheme boundary. + V means there is a vowel in another morpheme which succeeds the morpheme were the deleted vowel occurs. – lemontree Dec 21 '16 at 15:46

Your first part is correct, but I'm going to go through the whole translation for completeness.

V ⇒ ∅ / C ___ + V

Breaking this down into parts:


Standard shorthand for "any vowel", or sometimes "any short vowel".


"Null", that is, the sound disappears entirely.


"When" or "in the following environment".

C ___ + V

This is the environment in which the change happens:


Standard shorthand for "any consonant".


This is where the sound being modified appears.


This is the rarest symbol in this rule. + indicates a boundary between two morphemes, such as a stem and a suffix.


Another vowel.

So all together, the translation would be:

A vowel becomes null when it's preceded by a consonant, and followed by a morpheme break, and then a vowel.

  • In what way is + "rarest"? Compared to what? (Specifically, why is Ø not rarer?) – user6726 Dec 21 '16 at 22:32
  • @user6726 Just in the informal sense that I've seen Ø more often than + in these rules. I'm guessing it was the one OP was having difficulty with, since they got the first part on their own. – Draconis Dec 21 '16 at 22:35

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.