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"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more

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Query Details

Query Subject:   Loanword adaptation of syllable-final clusters
Author:   Jennifer Smith
Submitter Email:  click here to access email

Query:   I am working on a project related to phonological
modifications of loanwords. In particular, I am interested
in things that happen to words with syllable-final clusters
when they are borrowed into languages that don't allow such
clusters. Any suggestions of languages that might belong to
one of the following two categories would be greatly

(1) Languages that have two (or more) *different strategies*
for adapting borrowed coda clusters, depending on the nature
of the consonants in the cluster (such as sonority class,
place of articulation, or status as a legitimate coda
consonant in the borrowing language). Japanese, Korean, and
Cantonese are examples of this type of language.

(2) Languages that adapt CVXY to CV.XvY, where X and Y are
*both obstruents* (stops, fricatives, or affricates) and
small [v] is an epenthetic vowel. I would also be interested
in knowing whether this is the adaptation strategy used for
all borrowed coda clusters in the language, or whether there
are multiple adaptation strategies as decribed in (1) above.

Please reply directly to me (jlsmith@email.unc.edu). I will
post a summary of any results I receive.

Many thanks,
- Jen

Jennifer Smith Department of Linguistics
jlsmith@unc.edu 322 Dey Hall, CB #3155
http://www.unc.edu/~jlsmith University of North Carolina
Chapel Hill, NC 27599 USA

LL Issue: 14.3045
Date posted: 08-Nov-2003


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