A Study of English Loanwords

  • Published : 2000.07.01


English segments adopted into Korean can be divided into three types: Some English segments /$m, {\;}n, {\;}{\eta}, {\;}p^h, {\;}t^h, {\;}k^h$/ are adopted into the original sound [$m, {\;}n, {\;}{\eta}, {\;}p^h, {\;}t^h, {\;}k^h$] in Korean. Other segments /b, d, g/ appear in the voiceless stop form [p, t, k]. Generative Phonology explains the presence of the above English segments in Korean but it cannot explain why the English segments /$f, {\;}v, {\;}{\Theta}, {\;}{\breve{z}}, {\;}{\breve{c}}, {\;}{\breve{j}}$/ disappear during the adopting process. I present a set of universal constraints from the Optimality Theory proposed by Prince and Smolensky(l993) and I show how English segments differently adopted into Korean can be explained by these universal constraints such as Faith(feature). N oAffricateStop, Faith(nasal), NoNasalStop, Faith(voice), NoVoicedStop and the interaction of these constraints. I conclude that this Optimality Theory provides insights that better capture the nature of the phonological phenomena of English segments in Korean.