Journal of East Asian Linguistics

, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 299–316

Hybrid loans: a study of English loanwords transmitted to Korean via Japanese


DOI: 10.1007/s10831-008-9029-5

Cite this article as:
Kang, Y., Kenstowicz, M. & Ito, C. J East Asian Linguist (2008) 17: 299. doi:10.1007/s10831-008-9029-5


In this paper we present the results of a study of Japanese-influenced English loanwords in Korean. We identify some 10 phonological indexes that identify the loan’s Japanese provenance and examine their relative rate of retention in 287 loan forms that show a mixture of Japanese-style and direct-English-style phonological characteristics. Our chief finding is that certain traits of Japanese-style loanwords are more resistant to change to the direct English style of adaptation that is applied to contemporary loans. We consider two possible explanations for such a hierarchy. First, the resistance hierarchy reflects the relative perceptual saliency of the relevant features (cf. Steriade, 2001). Second, the resistance hierarchy reflects the degree of confidence Korean speakers have about the “correct” direct-English borrowing pattern.


Hybrid loanwords Google hits Phonetic similarity P-map 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yoonjung Kang
    • 1
  • Michael Kenstowicz
    • 2
  • Chiyuki Ito
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of HumanitiesUniversity of Toronto ScarboroughScarboroughCanada
  2. 2.Department of Linguistics and Philosophy, MITCambridgeUSA
  3. 3.Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia and AfricaTokyo University of Foreign StudiesTokyoJapan

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