Phonemic Spelling and Scriptio Continua for Sandhi Phenomena and Glottal Stop Deletion: Proto-Sinaitic vs. Hebrew.
Steiner, Richard C
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Orthographic depth is the name given to one of the criteria for classifying writing systems. One definition of this term is given by Henry Rogers: “In a writing system which is orthographically shallow, graphemes represent phonemes; in a writing system which is orthographically deep, graphemes represent morphophonemes.”1 According to this definition, an orthographically shallow writing system is one that employs phonemic spelling;2 an orthographically deep writing system is one that employs morphophonemic spelling. Martin Neef and Miriam Balestra provide an alternate definition: “According to a different terminological approach, a shallow orthography can be characterized as having a one-to-one relation between sounds and letters whereas a deep orthography deviates from this isomorphism.”3 This definition has the advantage of being broader; it includes all nonphonemic spellings, i.e., historical spellings as well as morphophonemic spellings. For the student of ancient texts, this definition is convenient because the information needed to distinguish purely historical spellings or purely morphophonemic spellings from spellings that are both historical and morphophonemic is often unavailable. In this article, therefore, we shall often speak simply of “non-phonemic spellings.”
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