# Morphophonemic rule formulation

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?

• A vowel deletes if it is simultaneously preceded by a consonant, and followed by a heteromorphemic vowel. Dec 21, 2016 at 15:25
• The rule into English. The second part is what I can't translate after '/' or 'in the environment'. Dec 21, 2016 at 15:27
• What does "+" mean? Dec 21, 2016 at 15:34
• V = vowel ⇒ = become ∅ = null / = in the environment C = consonant __ = before + = ?? V = vowel Does anyone know what does '+' stand for? Dec 21, 2016 at 15:38
• @Pearl Morpheme boundary. + V means there is a vowel in another morpheme which succeeds the morpheme were the deleted vowel occurs. Dec 21, 2016 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:

``````V
``````

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

``````⇒
``````

"Becomes".

``````∅
``````

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

``````/
``````

"When" or "in the following environment".

``````C ___ + V
``````

This is the environment in which the change happens:

``````C
``````

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.

``````V
``````

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?) Dec 21, 2016 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, 2016 at 22:35