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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

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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)
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/ Sharon Peperkamp
Published Online: 2014-07-31 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/lp-2014-0013

Abstract

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.

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Citing Articles

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[1]
Shiri Lev-Ari and Sharon Peperkamp
Journal of Language Evolution, 2017, Page lzw012
[3]
Janet B. Pierrehumbert
Annual Review of Linguistics, 2016, Volume 2, Number 1, Page 33
[4]
Noël Nguyen and Véronique Delvaux
Journal of Phonetics, 2015, Volume 53, Page 46
[5]
Shiri Lev-Ari, Marcela San Giacomo, and Sharon Peperkamp
Journal of Sociolinguistics, 2014, Volume 18, Number 5, Page 658

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