Journal of East Asian Linguistics

, Volume 24, Issue 2, pp 149–191 | Cite as

Loanword-specific grammar in Japanese adaptations of Korean words and phrases



This paper documents present-day Japanese loanwords from Korean and contributes to the debate on input structure in loanword phonology. It argues that loanword patterns may be shaped by loanword-specific grammars. Present-day Korean-to-Japanese phrase adaptation of obstruents provides evidence for the existence of a loanword-specific grammar. In adaptations of Korean names and other phrases, an allophonic alternation in Korean, namely the intersonorant voicing of lenis stops, appears at the word boundary. Comparisons with other word sandhi phenomena reveal that voicing of a lenis in this position is not due to faithful rendition of Korean phonetic inputs but rather to a special rule of Japanese loanword phonology. The point is stressed by another analogous fact that the Korean coda behaves differently from codas of western languages in loanword adaptations, also requiring grammatical explanation for Korean word adaptation.


Korean laryngeal contrast Loanword phonology Japanese phonology L2 perception 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sophia University Phonetics LaboratoryTokyoJapan

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