Working paper Open Access
This paper provides an account of the phonological adjustments of English words borrowed into Japanese. focusing crucially on the conditions under which obstruents in English are realized as geminates in Japanese.
I argue that well-formedness conditions in native Japanese phonology are not sufficient to account for the realization of obstruents in loanwords. What is also called for is a set of loanword specific faithfulness constraints. which ensure that the properties of foreign input are preserved as well as possible in the output.
Although it has been claimed that there are no loanword specific constraints. it seems natural that loanword phonology is subject to its own set of faithfulness conditions, whose role is to mirror the foreign source as closely as possible. The analysis is couched in Optimality Theory (Prince and Smolensky 1993).