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Title:Japanese loanword devoicing revisited: A rating study
Authors:Shigeto Kawahara
Comment:In press at NLLT.
Abstract:In Japanese loanword phonology, geminates optionally devoice when there is another voiced obstruent within the same stem, i.e., geminates may optionally devoice when they violate OCP(voice). This devoicing of OCP-violating geminates has received much attention in the recent phonological literature. However, the debates centering around this phenomenon have relied only on introspection-based data, and no systematic wellformedness judgment experiments have been performed. This squib fills that gap. The experiment reported in this squib shows that Japanese speakers do find devoicing of geminates natural when there is another voiced stop within the same word, i.e., when the geminates violate OCP(voice). The experiment moreover finds other interesting aspects of devoicing: (i) the naturalness of devoicing of OCP-violating geminates correlates positively with the lexical frequency of the words in question, (ii) the naturalness of devoicing of OCP-violating geminates is not affected by place of articulation, (iii) speakers find (context-free) devoicing of geminates more natural than devoicing of OCP-violating singletons, and (iv) speakers find the devoicing of OCP-violating singletons more natural in word-medial position than in word-initial position.
Type:Paper/tech report
Article:Version 1