Abstract for the coming Tuesday’s LEL seminar talk by Silke Hamann

Posted on February 4, 2015 by

Loanword adaptation via perception and orthography: modelling Cantonese and Italian

In this talk, I will first discuss the adaptation of English onset clusters into Hong Kong Cantonese and how the diachronic change in the perceptual adaptation strategies can account for cases of loan doublets, where the same word is borrowed at different times resulting in different forms.

In the second part, I will argue that perceptual considerations can be overridden by orthography and will provide a linguistic model that can incorporate the role of orthographic representations in loanword adaptation. Illustrations come from English words with ‘orthographic geminates’ such as tennis or killer, which are borrowed with long consonants into Italian.