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Vowel and Consonant Lengthening in Finnish Loanword Adaptation


This project looks at loanword adaptation in Finnish, focusing on the role of perception in the adaptation of voiceless stops as geminates. In the Finnish loanword process, non-geminate donor voiceless stops are often adapted in geminated form. This particular adaptation strategy is interesting because it serves a purpose other than to correct a phonological ill-formedness in the borrower language, meaning that it cannot be accounted for by appealing to native Finnish structural constraints. This project will argue that, while there is evidence that word-structure constraints play a role in the adaptation process, gemination is also influenced by perceptual cues. Specifically, I will show using on-line adaptation data that geminates are adapted as such because of two perceptual factors: stress placement in the donor and loan word and the existence of subsequent stops in the donor word.

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