Abstract/Details

Perception of foreignness


2005 2005

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Abstract (summary)

In some languages, a subset of the lexicon is exempt from generalizations that hold over the rest of the lexicon. Usually, the words that make up this exceptional class are loanwords from a foreign language. This dissertation argues that such a partitioning of the lexicon more or less according to the historical origins of words is psychologically real to native speakers and should be considered part of Universal Grammar. I conducted a series of experiments using speakers of Japanese, English, and Latvian to show that speakers use knowledge of the stratification of their languages to resolve ambiguities in the sound signal. I found some evidence to suggest that speakers interpret certain marked speech sounds as a sign of foreignness and also that speakers are aware of the foreign origin of some unmarked words.

I argue that information concerning the source of unmarked foreign words can only come from non-grammatical sources. However, once supplied with this information, the grammar can account for perceptual bias, as well as classify marked words into their respective lexical strata. These results can be obtained by combining several already existing proposals that have been made recently within the Optimality Theory framework.

Indexing (details)


Subject
Linguistics
Classification
0290: Linguistics
Identifier / keyword
Language, literature and linguistics; English; Foreignness; Japanese; Latvian; Loanwords; Perception grammar; Phonological exceptionality
Title
Perception of foreignness
Author
Gelbart, Ben
Number of pages
226
Publication year
2005
Degree date
2005
School code
0118
Source
DAI-A 67/01, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
ISBN
9780542480935, 054248093X
Advisor
Kingston, John; Pater, Joe; Rotello, Caren
University/institution
University of Massachusetts Amherst
University location
United States -- Massachusetts
Degree
Ph.D.
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Language
English
Document type
Dissertation/Thesis
Dissertation/thesis number
3200606
ProQuest document ID
304996850
Copyright
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
http://search.proquest.com/docview/304996850
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