Preference for Deletion vs. Epenthesis in Japanese Phonological Adaptations
Lexical Stratification and Input Medium
Keywords: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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