R.L.Venezky (1999), The American Way of Spelling, Guilford, New York

Vivian Cook 
Writing System Home

General Principles

1

Variation is tolerated

2

Letter distribution is capriciously limited

3

Letters represent sounds and mark graphemic, phonological and morphemic features

4

Etymology is honoured

5

Regularity is based on more than phonology

6

Visual identity of meaningful word parts takes precedence over letter-sound simplicity

7

English orthography facilitates word recognition for the initiated speaker of the language, rather than being a phonetic alphabet for the non-speaker

R.L. Venezky (1970), The Structure of English Orthography, Mouton

Venezky Notes

aim: ‘to show the patterning which exists in the present orthography’ (p.11)

scope: 20,000 most frequent words of English

system: spelling-to-sound correspondences

what is a unit?
    functional spelling units, not individual graphemes
    system of markers; ‘ one or more graphemes whose primary function is to indicate
   
      the correspondence of relational units or to preserve a graphotactical or         
          morphological pattern’; u on guest no dg; e notice 9s0

sequence of application of rules from x to y
    invariant: f>/f/ only exception of, almost ck, m, y, z
    regular variants: c>/s/ before e i y, elsewhere /k/, k>/k/ except before n
        position alone gh initial versus final
morpheme boundaries ph shepherd no h uphill hothead
inflectional rules pres tense s
markers: final v must have a vowel e
alternations: i/y u/w suade

Conclusions:
base form phonemic
derived from morphemic