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LINGUIST List 17.14

Tue Jan 10 2006

Diss: Phonology: Miao: 'Loanword Adaptation in Manda...'

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        1.    Ruiqin Miao, Loanword Adaptation in Mandarin Chinese: Perceptual, phonological and sociolinguistic factors


Message 1: Loanword Adaptation in Mandarin Chinese: Perceptual, phonological and sociolinguistic factors
Date: 08-Jan-2006
From: Ruiqin Miao <ruiqinmiaogmail.com>
Subject: Loanword Adaptation in Mandarin Chinese: Perceptual, phonological and sociolinguistic factors


Institution: State University of New York at Stony Brook
Program: Department of Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2005

Author: Ruiqin Miao

Dissertation Title: Loanword Adaptation in Mandarin Chinese: Perceptual, phonological and sociolinguistic factors

Linguistic Field(s): Phonology

Subject Language(s): Chinese, Mandarin (cmn)
Language Family(ies): Sino-Tibetan

Dissertation Director:
Ellen Broselow
Lori Repetti

Dissertation Abstract:

This dissertation is a study of Mandarin Chinese loanword phonology, with
focus on phoneme substitution patterns for consonants and processes used in
resolving foreign syllable structures which are illicit in Mandarin. The
data serving as the basis for analysis are loans borrowed into modern
Mandarin from three Indo-European languages, namely English, German and
Italian. I investigate the perceptual and phonological factors that
regulate the variability of loanword adaptation in Mandarin. In addition, I
discuss the influence of sociolinguistic factors on the phonological
processes observed in the data.

Based on the adaptation patterns in Mandarin, I argue that the recipient
language speakers' perceptual knowledge plays a crucial role in loanword
phonology and that loanword processes function to create an adapted form
that is perceived as sufficiently similar to the source word. I propose a
constraint ranking analysis within the Optimality Theoretic framework
(Prince & Smolensky 1993, McCarthy & Prince 1993, McCarthy & Prince 1995).
Following Steriade's (2002) P-map hypothesis, I conjecture that rankings of
various correspondence constraints are projected by the perceptual
similarity between the source form and the adapted form. Furthermore, this
analysis is tested by data from online loan perception and adaptation
experiments, the results of which corroborate the hypothesis that
perceptual similarity plays an important role in loanword adaptation.

This research supports cross-linguistic findings about the preference for
faithfulness of manner over faithfulness of other features such as voicing
and place (e.g. Broselow 1999, Steriade 2002) and the preference for
segment preservation over deletion in loan adaptation (e.g. Paradis &
LaCharité 1997, Uffmann 2001, 2004). It enriches our understanding of the
role of perceptual similarity and perceptual salience in phonology and
their relationship to constraint ranking.





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