Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Phonetic adaptations of Spanish loanwords in Triqui
by Scipione, Ruth, Ph.D., State University of New York at Albany, 2011, 232; 3549422
Abstract (Summary)

This study focuses on the results of increased language contact on Spanish loanword adaptation in Copala Triqui at the segmental and prosodic levels. Data from field notes and publications from the 1960s and 1970s were compared to modern 21st century loanword adaptations in 80+ hours of radio broadcasts and recorded elicitations in personal fieldwork in Mexico, Central California and Albany, NY. The overarching goal is to identify a wide range of possible phonetic adaptations at the segmental and prosodic levels and track the possible effects of increased bilingualism on these adaptations. From there it attempts to hypothesize what phonetic variation may indicate more generalized contact induced change in Copala Triqui.

The results indicate that closed systems such as segmental and prosodic inventories are resistant to contact induced change. In this case study, even though bilinguals are able to produce foreign sounds in the context of loanwords, more consistent use of foreign sounds happens as a result of internal shifts in progress. In order to understand segmental shift it is useful to look at the phonetic system as a whole rather than at the possible importation of individual phonemes. In the case of Triqui, the obstruents and rhotics may be on their way to converging with the Spanish obstruent and rhotic systems.

At the prosodic level it is clear that adaptation follows more stringent rules and shows much less variation. Four different patterns of stress in Spanish -ultimate, penultimate, antepenultimate and ultimate stress with sibilant coda- translate into four consistent tone patterns with no exceptions. The only confirmed shift is the reduction of historically complex loanwords with multiple lexically-linked tones to simple words with one word-final tone, a process that is relatively common in this language. Only recently do two innovations in adaptation occur: the first is a new tone pattern accompanied by a word-final aspirated laryngeal and the second is a possible maintenance of Spanish stress. The cause of these two innovative adaptation patterns has not yet been determined but it is likely that they are related.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Sayahi, Lotfi
Commitee: Bickmore, Lee, Broadwell, Aaron, Westmoreland, Maurice
School: State University of New York at Albany
Department: Spanish
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 74/05(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Sociolinguistics, Native American studies
Keywords: Copala Triqui, Language contact, Loanwords, Phonetic variation, Spanish
Publication Number: 3549422
ISBN: 9781267858191
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