Preference for Deletion vs. Epenthesis in Japanese Phonological Adaptations

Lexical Stratification and Input Medium




Japanese, phonological adaptation, deletion, epenthesis, verb formation


This study investigated phonological adaptation of non-loan words in Japanese and their preference for either deletion or epenthesis. Earlier studies argue that non-loan Japanese words prefer deletion while loanwords prefer epenthesis. Studies further show that the input medium affects the adaptation; text-input leads to epenthesis while sound-input to deletion. The present study experimented with text-input of non-loan nonce words and investigated how native Japanese speakers adapt their causative, passive, and potential forms. Results showed a strong preference for deletion in causative forms, a relatively weak preference for deletion in potential forms, and no significant preference in passive forms. The outcome indicates that deletion is not present by default, and further investigation is needed to define factors that influence the selection.


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Author Biography

SHOJI Shinichi, Mie University

Assistant professor

Organization for the development of higher educaiton and regional human resources

Mie University


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How to Cite

Shoji, S. (2022). Preference for Deletion vs. Epenthesis in Japanese Phonological Adaptations: Lexical Stratification and Input Medium. Acta Linguistica Asiatica, 12(1), 9–18.–18



Research articles