The Effect of Native Orthography on Borrowing Phonology Modeling and the Nature of the Phonotactic Fringe: Evidence from Japanese


  • Tyler McPeek University of Florida


The study of loanword adaptation models in phonology has become increasingly relevant in recent years due to the mass influx of American English borrowings into languages around the world, as the steadily increasing status of English as a lingua franca results in mass exportation of the American English language lexicon and culture. This study investigates the influence of native orthography of the L1 on existing borrowing phonology models. In this study, English loanwords in Japanese are examined for examples of innovative change in the loan phonology. Examples that include creation of non-natively appearing segment combinations (found in internet, urban publications and landscapes, and dictionary corpora) provide evidence that Japanese speakers are innovating to utilize the tools of Japanese orthography to create otherwise impossible sound combinations in Japanese. These innovations only take place within the limits of the highly restrictive and syllabically finite Japanese phonetic writing system.