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Subject: What happens at the boundary of a phonological code-switch?
Question: I want to embed a Japanese word into my English speech, but
I want to be faithful to the Japanese pronunciation, so I enter
a ''Japanese pronunciation mode''. Briefly, I understand this
as an example of code-switching.

For example, the Japanese word for thank you is [aɾiɡatoː]<あ
りがとう>. Now I want to say ''it is {a/an} aɾiɡatoː'', or
alternatively if [koaɾiɡatoː] was the word I would want to say ''it
is {a/an} koaɾiɡatoː''. The assumption is that I am going to be
100% prosodically and segmentally faithful to the embedded
Japanese word. To be precise, let # be the switch point. Then
English phonology imposes upon you the obligation

/a/->[an] / _V

But if you actually say [it is an aɾiɡatoː] (and this seems to be
the observed form) you didn't apply the above rule, but a rule
of the form

/a/->[an] / _#V

This seems contradictory to your intention to code switch; the
intention was for V to be under the sole purchase of
Japanese phonology, but clearly V has participated in a rule
of English phonology. I don't understand why, when under the
assumption of faithful code switching, a foreign import can
alter the host sentence.

Reply: There are many kinds of code-switching. The entry point for code-switching is the insertion, as in this example, of a single word. Shana Poplack refers to all insertion of a single word from one language into an utternace in another as an example of using a 'loan word': this recognises (a) that inserting a single word is a simple code switch that requires not structural adaptation; (b) it is often a waste of time arguing about when a word from one language becomes a word in another language (croissant, Bach, arigato, pide -- are they 'English words'?).

So, if you just insert a word from Language A into text in Language B, then it follows the grammar of Language B, even if you keep the pronunciation of the word itself as it is in Language A.


Reply From: Anthea Fraser Gupta      click here to access email
Date: 13-Sep-2012
Other Replies:
  1. Re: What happens at the boundary of a phonological code-switch?    Elizabeth J Pyatt     (11-Sep-2012)
  2. Re: What happens at the boundary of a phonological code-switch?    Geoffrey Richard Sampson     (11-Sep-2012)
  3. Re: What happens at the boundary of a phonological code-switch?    Madalena Cruz-Ferreira     (11-Sep-2012)
  4. Re: What happens at the boundary of a phonological code-switch?    James L Fidelholtz     (11-Sep-2012)

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