An Analysis on the Medial and Final Vowel Insertion (Epenthesis) In English Loanwords in Korean Language


This studied the medial and final vowel epenthesis in English loanwords in Korean language and the phonetic adjustments affecting the sound structure of English words borrowed into Korean. Specifically, it analyzed the medial and final vowel epenthesis in the English loanwords adaptation process; provided an environment description of vowel epenthesis; and analyzed the occurrence and factors affecting the likelihood of vowel epenthesis. The study was qualitative and phenomenological which used purposive/convenience sampling. The International Phonetic Alphabet was used in transcribing English loanwords in Korean, and in discovering the factors affecting vowel epenthesis. The loanwords were first sorted by occurrence of vowel epenthesis. Each group was presented in a four-column table with the Korean loanwords on the first, followed by the English equivalent, the transcription, then, the environment description. The results are as follows: (1.)100% of the loanwords listed have vowel epenthesis(2.) medial vowel epenthesis mostly occur in this pattern: Voiceless Consonant/p,s,t, k/+Vowel epenthesis+Non-/p, s, t, k/(3.) the tenseness of the pre-final vowel, the voicing of the final consonant, and the manner and place of articulation of the final consonant greatly affect the likelihood of final vowel epenthesis.It was concluded that vowel epenthesis is one big phenomenon in English loanwords adaptation in Korean language; the source language is often greatly affected by the phonology of the borrowing language; and that assimilation is the most influential process in English loanwords adaptation in Korean language.

Author Information
Girlie Ann Herrera, Interac Co. Ltd., Japan
Forteza Canlas, Angeles Foundation University, The Philippines

Paper Information
Conference: ACLL2018
Stream: Linguistic landscapes

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon