- Adaptation of English onset clusters across time in Hong Kong Cantonese
- The role of the perception grammar
- Linguistics in Amsterdam
- Volume | Issue number
- 9 | 3
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam Center for Language and Communication (ACLC)
In the present article we argue that the initial adaptation of English obstruent-liquid clusters into Hong Kong Cantonese is taking place in the perception grammar, which is influenced by phonological restrictions, following the proposal by Boersma & Hamann (2009) on loan adaptations in Korean. Such a perception grammar account does away with loanword-specific devices invoked by previous phonological accounts of Hong Kong Cantonese adaptations (such as Silverman 1992; Yip 1993, 2006; Kenstowicz 2012). Furthermore, we show that diachronic changes seem to have occurred in the adaptation of these English words, and we argue that such changes are due to the acquisition of a different perception grammar by younger speakers: newer loan forms (with less native-like structure) are possible because recent generations have had much more exposure to English. As a result, they have less (strong) phonotactic restrictions against English-like phonological structures and are more sensitive to English perceptual cues. We argue that this proposal is preferable to a stratified lexicon approach (Itô & Mester 1999, 2001 for Japanese) that encodes diachronic differences in adaptations as different constraint rankings within one synchronic grammar.
- Final publisher version
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