Mandarin loanword phonology
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This thesis explores the topic of loanword adaptation in Standard Mandarin, with special attention to variable vowel adaptations. I present contending theories of loanword phonology, along with complicating sociolinguistic and paralinguistic factors. After a thorough summary of Standard Mandarin phonology following Duanmu (2007) and Lin (2007), I present the results of a psycholinguistic experiment. Speakers from Northern China were asked to listen to a series of nonce place names and write down their own adaptations. The tokens were designed to test three English mid vowels, [ɛ, ʌ, oʊ] in different syllabic environments. For the most part, findings from previous studies were corroborated; however in terms of tone and vowel adaptations, there are certain discrepancies that point toward a theory of loanword adaptation that incorporates both perceptual and phonological factors.