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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Vowel and Consonant Lengthening in Finnish Loanword Adaptation

  • Author(s): Kroll, Margaret Ilona
  • Advisor(s): Hayes, Bruce
  • et al.

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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