Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

Laboratory Phonology

Journal of the Association for Laboratory Phonology

Ed. by Cole, Jennifer

IMPACT FACTOR 2015: 0.667
Rank 85 out of 179 in category Linguistics in the 2015 Thomson Reuters Journal Citation Report/Social Sciences Edition

More options …

An experimental study of the role of social factors in language change: The case of loanword adaptations

Shiri Lev-Ari
  • Corresponding author
  • Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
  • Laboratoire de Sciences Cognitives et Psycholinguistique (ENS, EHESS, CNRS)
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Sharon Peperkamp
Published Online: 2014-07-31 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/lp-2014-0013


There is great variation in whether foreign sounds in loanwords are adapted or retained. Importantly, the retention of foreign sounds can lead to a sound change in the language. We propose that social factors influence the likelihood of loanword sound adaptation, and use this case to introduce a novel experimental paradigm for studying language change that captures the role of social factors. Specifically, we show that the relative prestige of the donor language in the loanword’s semantic domain influences the rate of sound adaptation. We further show that speakers adapt to the performance of their ‘community', and that this adaptation leads to the creation of a norm. The results of this study are thus the first to show an effect of social factors on loanword sound adaptation in an experimental setting. Moreover, they open up a new domain of experimentally studying language change in a manner that integrates social factors.

About the article

Published Online: 2014-07-31

Published in Print: 2014-08-01

Citation Information: Laboratory Phonology, Volume 5, Issue 3, Pages 379–401, ISSN (Online) 1868-6354, ISSN (Print) 1868-6346, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/lp-2014-0013.

Export Citation

© 2014 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston.Get Permission

Citing Articles

Here you can find all Crossref-listed publications in which this article is cited. If you would like to receive automatic email messages as soon as this article is cited in other publications, simply activate the “Citation Alert” on the top of this page.

Shiri Lev-Ari and Sharon Peperkamp
Journal of Language Evolution, 2017, Page lzw012
Janet B. Pierrehumbert
Annual Review of Linguistics, 2016, Volume 2, Number 1, Page 33
Noël Nguyen and Véronique Delvaux
Journal of Phonetics, 2015, Volume 53, Page 46
Shiri Lev-Ari, Marcela San Giacomo, and Sharon Peperkamp
Journal of Sociolinguistics, 2014, Volume 18, Number 5, Page 658

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in