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Phonetics vs. phonology in loanword adaptation: Revisiting the role of the bilingual

Chang, C. B. (2012) 'Phonetics vs. phonology in loanword adaptation: Revisiting the role of the bilingual.' In: Berson, S. and Bratkievich, A. and Bruhn, D. and Campbell, A. and Escamilla, R. and Giovine, A. and Newbold, L. and Perez, M. and Piqueras-Brunet, M. and Rhomieux, R., (eds.), Proceedings of the 34th Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society: General Session and Parasession on Information Structure. Berkeley, CA: Berkeley Linguistics Society, pp. 61-72.

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Abstract

Following phonological and phonetic models of loanword adaptation, I present evidence from Burmese in favor of an intermediate model of loanword adaptation incorporating both language-independent phonetics and language-particular phonology. On the basis of a corpus of 200 loanword adaptations from English into Burmese, I first show that Burmese loanword adaptation involves a phonological scansion of phonemically relevant detail, as well as a phonetic scansion of phonemically irrelevant detail. These findings suggest that a model of loanword adaptation incorporating both phonetics and phonology is the most empirically sound. While loanword adaptations are indeed highly influenced by phonetic similarity, bilinguals play a leading role in adaptation, allowing the phonology of L2 to have a profound effect on adaptations in L1. The relative ranking of these phonetic and phonological considerations, then, appears to be a language-specific matter.

Item Type: Book Chapters
SOAS Departments & Centres: Faculty of Languages and Cultures > Department of Linguistics
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
P Language and Literature > PE English
P Language and Literature > PI Oriental languages and literatures
P Language and Literature > PL Languages and literatures of Eastern Asia, Africa, Oceania
Copyright Statement: Copyright 2012 Berkeley Linguistics Society. All rights reserved.
Depositing User: Dr. Charles Chang
Date Deposited: 21 Nov 2014 16:40
URI: http://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/19108

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