Phoneme Morphology

Phoneme morphology is where various phonemes transform to other phonemes as part of natural speech. This can be for a number of reasons:

  1. modification of end/beginning of word phonemes to make them flow together, e.g.:

    "said john" : /sˈɛd dʒˈɒn/ -> /sˈɛ-dʒˈɒn/
  2. modification of a phoneme as a result of surrounding phonemes, e.g.:

    "houses" : /hˈaʊsəs/ -> /hˈaʊzəz/
  3. modification of a phoneme as a result of syllabic stress placement, e.g.:

    "demote" : /dɪmˈoʊt/ -> /dəmˈoʊt/
  4. modification of a phoneme due to the dialect of the speaker, e.g.:

    "cot" : /cˈɒt/ -> /cˈɑːt/
  5. modification of a phoneme due to speech impediments, lisps or a blockage of the nasal cavity, e.g.

    "silly" : /sˈɪli/ -> /sˈɪwi/

Encoding these variations at the letter-to-phoneme phase would be very complex as this would lead to a large number of letter-to-phoneme rules that would not necessarily be 100% accurate (e.g. when to use /s/ or /z/ is difficult to write letter-to-phoneme rules for, but /z/ is used if the preceding phoneme is voiced or a vowel).

It is not yet clear how phoneme morphology works in practice. In order to do this methodically, word transcriptions need a morphology neutral transcription along with transcriptions for different cases (e.g. stress placement).