Online Adaptation of Word-initial Ukrainian CC Consonant Clusters by Native Speakers of English
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The phenomenon of loanword adaptation occupies a prominent position in modern phonological literature. The present paper introduces the major theories which deal with this phenomenon as well as presenting the author’s experimental study of online adaptation of Ukrainian word-initial CC consonant clusters illegal in English. In this paper the findings of two experiments are compared and discussed. In the first one 25 native speakers of English imitated Ukrainian words containing word-initial CC consonant clusters absent in English. In the second task a different group of 25 native English speakers were asked to write down the same words in orthographic form. The analysis has shown certain similarities as well as differences between the two sets of data. The repetition task demonstrates that the sonority profile of a cluster has a significant influence on the reproduction of a sequence. Thus, the combinations of sounds which comply with the Sonority Sequencing Generalization pose less difficulty for English native speakers than clusters which violate this principle. The study has also revealed the number of patterns which clearly show that the structure of the CC consonant cluster influences the repair strategy chosen by the participants. Thus, vowel epenthesis is frequently employed with two voiced obstruents, and consonant deletion seems to be the prevalent repair strategy in the case of fricatives.
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