Working paper Open Access

The Role of Loanword Diffusion in Changing Adaptation Patterns: A Study of Coronal Stops in Japanese Borrowings

Crawford, Clifford

Optimality-Theoretic analyses of loanword phonology account for the phonological adaptations seen in loanwords using one of two mechanisms: markedness constraints in the phonology of L1 speakers, and perceptual biases affecting the input. However, while these analyses may be able to account for the synchronic behavior of a single speaker in borrowing a particular loanword, they cannot easily account for the systematic change over time in loanword adaptation patterns seen in a speech community that is becoming more bilingual in L2.

After examining the adaptation patterns affecting coronal stops before high front vowels in Japanese loanwords, I will argue that the nativization of [ti] and [di] sequences in early loans was not caused by a highly ranked markedness constraint forbidding these sequences, but rather emerged from the cumulative misperceptions and misproductions of loanwords containing [ti] and [di] as they spread throughout the Japanese speech community.

This paper is copyrighted, and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) - see
Files (804.5 kB)
Name Size
804.5 kB Download
All versions This version
Views 256256
Downloads 1313
Data volume 10.5 MB10.5 MB
Unique views 186186
Unique downloads 1212


Cite as