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Phonology Seminar: Minqi Liu “English Adaptation in the Mandarin A-not-A Reduplication Construction”
A-not-A is a Mandarin reduplication construction where the underlying form /RED-pu-A/ contains a reduplication of the first syllable in A. In this study I investigate the kinds of adaptations that occur when an English word serves as the base A. Since the complex onsets and most codas allowed in English are illegal in Mandarin syllables, the reduplicated part is expected to adapt to Mandarin phonotactics to some degree. I ran a production experiment where 20 native Mandarin speakers were asked to produce A-not-A constructions with 55 mono- and poly-syllabic English words. Results from the experiment showed varied adaptation methods. To model the results, I used a maximum entropy harmonic grammar with weighted constraints on syllable structure markedness and base-reduplicant faithfulness.