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Strengthening of fricatives in language acquisition and
lexical borrowing: The case of Sino-Vietnamese
Youngjun Jang
Journal of Chinese Linguistics, Volume 43, Number 1A, January 2015, pp.
150-169 (Article)
Published by Chinese University Press
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1353/jcl.2015.0008
For additional information about this article
https://muse.jhu.edu/article/581620
No institutional affiliation (1 Jan 2019 06:06 GMT)
STRENGTHENING OF FRICATIVES IN
LANGUAGE ACQUISITION AND LEXICAL BORROWING
THE CASE OF SINO-VIETNAMESE
Youngjun Jang
Chung-Ang University, Seoul
ABSTRACT
The purpose of this article is to propose and prove that the well-known
theory of markedness in language acquisition is also working in lexical
borrowing. Principles of first language acquisition have widely been
attested to operate in second language and/or foreign language acquisition.
However, not much attention has been paid to the comparison between
first language acquisition and lexical borrowing, although lexical
borrowing also clearly involves similar processes and/or principles of
foreign language acquisition in various forms. Specifically, we will show
that fricatives of source language are changed to stops in target language,
in parallel with the well-known phonological process that fricatives are
realized as stops and that they are acquired later than stops in first
language acquisition. Supporting evidence is provided from the
comparison between general language acquisition data and strengthening
of fricatives found in the lexical borrowing from Chinese by Vietnamese.
In so doing, we will compare the alveolar fricatives in Chinese and their
borrowed forms in Sino-Vietnamese and Sino-Korean.
SUBJECT KEYWORDS
Lexical borrowing language acquisition Sino-Vietnamese Sino-Korean
Chinese, Stop Strengthening of fricative Fricativeostop change
1. INTRODUCTION1
Procedures of first language acquisition may not necessarily be
parallel to those of foreign language borrowing, though there may be
STRENGTHENING OF FRICATIVES 151
1
some similarities therein. While first language acquisition involves
finding out the implicit rules of the input language, foreign language
adoption involves the rules of the target language and interferences from
the learner’s first language. Although there has been much work on the
similarities and differences between first language acquisition and foreign
language learning, foreign language borrowing has not been paid much
attention in regard of first language acquisition.
In this paper, we compare a particular phonological procedure
witnessed in first language acquisition and foreign language borrowing,
namely the strengthening of a fricative sound. Called stopping of
fricatives in some contexts, the sound change of sibilants to alveolar stop
/t/ has been widely discussed in the literature of first language acquisition.
We relate this acquisition phenomenon to the sound change witnessed in
the Sino-Vietnamese pronunciation. What we mean by Sino-Vietnamese
is simply Vietnamese speakers’ imitation of the Chinese pronunciations
of the Chinese characters as filtered through the Vietnamese phonological
system during the historical periods of contact borrowing when the
Chinese language and the characters were borrowed into Vietnam society.
A comprehensive discussion of the historical aspects of Sino-Vietnamese
can be found in Jiang (2011).
Let us begin by reviewing the stopping phenomenon found in first
language acquisition. Since Jakobson (1968), it has been widely-known in
the literature that more marked forms are acquired later than less marked
ones. Jakobson (1968: 51) notes that
[T]he acquisition of fricatives presupposes the acquisition of
stops in child language; and in the linguistic systems of the
world the former cannot exist unless the latter exists as well.
Thus, stops are acquired earlier than fricatives. Jakobson (1968) reported
for numerous languages that children tend to substitute stop consonants
for fricatives when they are in initial position. This theory has been called
“implicational universals” in the literature and has been tested in various
ways in various languages. For example, Smith (1973) reports that his son
Amahl produced stop sounds where fricatives are expected, while he was
acquiring English as his native tongue. The relevant examples are
152 JOURNAL OF CHINESE LINGUISTICS VOL.43, NO.1A (2015)
provided in (1) below:
(1)
sun [t‫ݞ‬n]
sandal [tæƾgԥl]
sausages [t‫ܧ‬tԥdiঌ] puzzle [p‫ݞ‬dԥl]
zip [ঌip]
fish [wit]
parsley [pa:tli:]
special [p‫ܭ‬tԥl]
As shown in (1), sibilant fricatives /s, š, z/ are substituted by stops /t, ঌ/.
Some sibilant fricatives are also realized as affricate /ș/, as in sew [șo‫]ݜ‬,
sink [șܼƾk], icy [aܼși], and vase [veܼș]. Rockman and Elbert (1984: 253)
also report that /s/ is substituted by /t/, as shown by their examples in (2).
(2)
sell [te] sit [ti]
sad [tæ]
Examples in (2) clearly show that sibilant fricative /s/ becomes alveolar
stop /t/. There are numerous reports of this phenomenon in various
languages. Substitution of fricatives and affricates by stops is reported in
Polish aphasics (see Ulatowska and Baker 1974, Greenberg 1962, Cheng
1991 for Chinese). Menken and Ferguson (1987) use Jakobson's hierarchy
to state universals of phonological acquisition: Stops are acquired before
nasals and nasals are acquired before fricatives. They note that
substitutions made in the early stages of acquisition can be predicted. For
examples, fricatives will be replaced by stops. Jesney (2007) also reports
that sibilant fricatives /s, z, ‫ݕ‬, ‫ݹ‬, ‫ݶ‬/ are shifted to [t, d].2 Ettlinger (2008)
tries to account for why his subject produces [t‫ܤ‬k] for sock, and [t‫ݞ‬n] for
sun, although the inventory of this child includes sibilant fricative.
According to Ettlinger (2008), the subject shows the typical chain-shift
phenomenon. That is, alveolar stop /t/ is pronounced as /k/ at some stage,
and alveolar sibilant /s/ is pronounced as alveolar stop /t/ in turn. This is
illustrated in (3).
(3)
Table 1: Stages of the [sotok] chain shift in M's speech
Stage 1(1;0-1;4)
Stage 2(1;4-1;7)
Stage 3(1;7+)
cookie
k‫ݜ‬.ki
k‫ݜ‬.ki
k‫ݜ‬.ki
talk
k‫ݞ‬k
k‫ݞ‬k
t‫ݞ‬k
sock
n/a
t‫ܤ‬k
t‫ܤ‬k
table
n/a
tej.bo
tej.bo
STRENGTHENING OF FRICATIVES 153
1
What is most interesting is the fact that M produces [k] for /t/, even
though he can produce [t] as substitution for /s/ at stage 2. Stage one
reflects velarization, stage two reflects fricative strengthening and the
chain shift and finally stage three reflects resolving the chain shift. Note
that although the child continues velarization for talk, the newly acquired
word table is correctly pronounced. For the purpose of our discussion,
what is more interesting is the fact that sibilant fricative is pronounced as
alveolar stop in M’s speech above.
Kang (2004) also reports that the similar pattern of language
acquisition is observed in the acquisition of Korean. Consider the
following examples.
(4)
Table 2: The [s o t] change in Child Korean (Kang 2004)
entry
child pronunciation
meaning
age
/to‫ڦ‬s‫ڦܭ‬/
[tot’e]
‘younger sibling’
(1;8)
/cwԥssԥyo/
[cut’ԥyo]
‘gave it’
(2;4)
h
h
/c issol/
[c it’ol]
‘toothbrush’
(1;11)
/paksu/
[pat’u]
'clapping'
(1;11)
/s‫ܧ‬n/
[to]
‘hand’
(2;0)
/satha‫ڦ‬/
[thatha‫]ڦ‬
‘candy’
(2;1)
/cԥki/
[tԥki]
‘over there’
(1;8)
/paci/
[padi]
‘pants’
(1;11)
/ic’ok/
[it’ak]
‘this way’
(2;0)
/ch‫ܭ‬k/
[th‫]ܭ‬
‘a book’
(2;0)
Table 2 in (4) shows that the child speakers studied by Kang (2004) have
substituted /t/ for /s/ in their acquisition of Korean phonology. In other
words, the data in (4) suggest that not only alveolar fricative but also
other fricatives are realized as stops in the acquisition of Korean.
According to Kang (2004), the subject children typically produced an
alveolar tense stop, namely [t’] for /s’/ during their early speech. Based
on Kang’s (2004) data, let us assume that strengthening of fricatives is a
regular process in Korean. Furthermore, Kang (2004) shows that stops
are far more frequently found at earlier stage of acquisition than fricatives.
154 JOURNAL OF CHINESE LINGUISTICS VOL.43, NO.1A (2015)
This is in accordance with what Jakobson (1968) predicts. This is clearly
shown in the following graph taken from Kang (2004: 85).
(5)
Figure 1: Percentages of phones for /s’/ in the utterances produced by a
Korean-speaking child
As shown in the above graph, at an earlier stage of acquisition, say
around 2;4 years of age, the child produces stop sound for 80%, while
production of fricatives is less than 10%. Especially, production of /t’/ is
drastically reduced at around 3;00 years of age. This can be interpreted to
mean that strengthening of fricatives is corrected in the early stage.
From the aspect of physiology, this can be readily accounted for.
As Kent (1992) also notes, fricatives are late-appearing sounds because
they require fine control of tongue position and force. Furthermore,
fricatives have specific aerodynamic requirements. That is, they require
sufficient airflow to generate turbulent noise (see Koenig, Lucero and
Perlman 2008).
So far, we have seen that fricatives are realized as stops in early
stage of first language acquisition. Data from various languages including
English, Polish, and Korean have been examined to support this general
principle. Now let us turn to the strengthening of fricatives in loan word
pronunciation in the next section.
STRENGTHENING OF FRICATIVES 155
1
2. STRENGTHENING OF FRICATIVES IN SINO-VIETNAMESE
In this section, we will compare a set of Chinese characters in
Chinese with their Sino-Vietnamese counterparts and other relevant data.
We will see that the same process found in first language acquisition,
namely strengthening of fricatives, is also found in the borrowing of
Chinese into Sino-Vietnamese.
Before beginning our discussion, let us take a look at the phonemic
inventory of Vietnamese (taken from Tang and Barlow 2006: 426).
Stop
voiceless
‫ݚ‬
c
Glottal
Velar
Palatal
Retroflex
Alveolar
b
k
aspirated
voiced
Fricative
Dental
Labio-dental
Table 3: Inventory of consonant phonemes in modern Southern Vietnamese
Labial
(6)
voiceless
f
d
s
voiced
Nasal
approximant
x
‫ڜ‬
‫ݢ‬
m
w
n
l
݄
j
h
ƾ
For our purpose, it suffices to note that Vietnamese does have the
fricative voiceless alveolar /s/ in its inventory. The reconstructed protoVietnamese phonemic inventory, given in (7) below, is not different from
that of modern Southern Vietnamese with regard to this point. Recall that
the period of proto-Vietnamese is around 7th to 9th century AD, while
Sino-Vietnamese was adopted during 10th century AD. In other words, the
alveolar fricative /s/ in Chinese corresponds to the alveolar stop /t/ in
Sino-Vietnamese, even though Vietnamese does have fricative /s/ in its
phonemic inventory. Indeed, Jiang (2011: 39) notes that the protoVietnamese sibilant fricative *s- changes to alveolar stop *t- from 10th
century A.D. and that the proto-Vietnamese retroflex *‫ܨ‬- changed to *thin 17th century AD. (Also see Jiang 2011: 31 for the initial consonant
inventory of proto-Vietnamese.)
156 JOURNAL OF CHINESE LINGUISTICS VOL.43, NO.1A (2015)
Fricative
-voice
+voice
Nasal
approximant
Velar
Glottal
‫ݹ‬
x/gi
th
th
t
d
s
t
d
d
Palatal
Retro-flex
+voice
Alveolar
aspirate
p
b
ph
ph
b
v
Dental
Stop
-voice
Labio-dental
Labial
(7) Table 4: Inventory of consonant phonemes in Proto-Vietnamese (Ferlus 2009: 96)
k
c/k
kh
kh
g
g/gh
௧
h
h
f
‫ܦ‬
m
m
m
w
‫ܪ‬
n
‫ݖ‬
nh
n
n
݄
nh
l
l
j
d
ƾ
ng/n
gh
In the above table, the bold face represents the proto-Vietnamese
phonemes and the italics are their letters used in the Vietnamese alphabet.
We are not concerned about a comprehensive historical investigation of
the changes of Vietnamese pronunciations here, which is way out of the
scope of this article. Our interest is, rather, in the fact that the phonemic
inventory of the proto-Vietnamese does include the fricative /s/, which
corresponds to /t/ of modern Southern Vietnamese. The reason is that we
would like to see whether the alveolar stop /t/ in Sino-Vietnamese
originates from proto-Vietnamese or Chinese pronunciation at the time of
borrowing. In the table (6) and (7) we notice that both proto- and modern
Southern Vietnamese do have fricative /s/. Given that historical
Vietnamese had a syllable-initial fricative that was phonetically similar to
the one in historical Chinese, why didn’t Sino-Vietnamese forms preserve
the original Chinese fricative as a fricative? To put our conclusion in
advance, the reason must be related to the markedness theory of Jakobson
(1968) such that more marked forms are acquired later than less marked
ones. Thus, even in borrowing a foreign language, less marked forms like
alveolar stop /t/ are preferred to the more marked ones like alveolar
fricative /s/.
Now, let us move on to discussion of the pronunciation of Chine
sources. It is important to see which period of Chinese was taken into the
Vietnamese language so that we can compare the pronunciations of
STRENGTHENING OF FRICATIVES 157
1
source words and those of adopted ones. Regarding the chronological
division, we base our discussion on Karlgren (1954/1992), Zev (2008),
and Alves (2009). Karlgren (1954/1992:2) takes Ancient Chinese to be
the language at around 600 A.D., mostly that of Tang dynasty, and
Archaic Chinese to be the language of the Honan area during Chou era.
He claims that “the majority of the Sino-Korean loans may be dated
around 600 A.D., thus being contemporary with the Ancient Chinese
period and that the Sino-Japanese loan words may be dated during the 7th
century A.D. from the Northern China and during the 5th – 6th centuries
from the so-called Go-on Chinese (i.e., Shanghai region)” (p.5-6).4 Zev
(2008), citing Nguyen (1990), notes that ˈChinese characters were first
used in the area of what is now northern Vietnam as early as the Hàn
Dynasty, when Chinese governors first ruled the area known as Nányuè
beginning in 111 B.C.ˉ He further notes that ˈthe earliest scattered
evidence for the use of Chinese characters to write native Vietnamese is
only found on inscriptions from the 11th to 14th centuries.” Similarly,
Alves (2009) notes that “[T]he eras of Sino-Vietnamese contact are here
divided into four general categories based on the nature of the
sociolinguistic contact: the Han Dynasty era (1st century B.C. to 2nd
century A.D.), the Tang Dynasty era (7th to 10th centuries A.D.), the era
of Vietnamese independence (11th century to the modern era), and the
modern era (20th century to the present). He also notes that
“[D]ocumented Sino-Vietnamese language contact begins early in the
Han Dynasty.” Considering this, we would rather compare the
reconstructed Chinese of this time and the reading pronunciation of
borrowed lexical items in Vietnamese during that period. (for more
detailed discussion, see Pulleyblank 1991 and Baxter 1992 and references
therein. Also see Jiang 2011).
Take a look at the reconstructed initials of Ancient Chinese given
in (8) from Norman (1988: 36). In Norman (1988), the period is called
Middle Chinese but his reconstruction is based on Qiyun and thus
corresponds to Ancient Chinese in our term. (For more discussion, see
Baxter 1992:177).
158 JOURNAL OF CHINESE LINGUISTICS VOL.43, NO.1A (2015)
(8)
Table 5: The reconstructed initial consonants of Ancient Chinese
In the table given in (8), we recognize fricatives /s, z/ and retroflex /ts,
tsh/. Our interests are in these sibilants in the phonemic inventory of
Ancient Chinese, which undergo strengthening when borrowed into
Vietnamese.1) It is of course clear that Chinese has changed throughout
the history. But the point that we make is that no matter when the SinoVietnamese were borrowed, some occurrences of the sibilant fricative is
changed to alveolar stop /t/.
First of all, consider the following comparative-historical data
taken from Karlgren (1954/1992: 23-42).
(9)
荅 ‘age’
Kan-on: sei
Korean: se
Annam: tue
Wenchou: sü
Foochow: soui
Mandarin: suì
(10)
艓 ‘copy’
Kan-on: sia
Korean: sa
Annam: ta
Hakka: sia
Here we simply reproduce the examples from Karlgren without any
change. But we should rather mention that Annam is an old name of
Vietnam and Annamese is an old name for the Vietnamese language. The
Sino-Japanese readings Kan-on and Ko-on each refer to pronunciation of
the northern area of Han dynasty and Shanghai area. Wenchou refers to
one of the Wu dialects, and Foochow refers to one of the Min dialects.
STRENGTHENING OF FRICATIVES 159
1
Mandarin refers to the dialect of northern area and Hakka to the dialect of
southern area.
As shown in (9-10), Ancient Chinese sibilant fricative *s
corresponds to [t] in Annamese (an earlier form of Vietnamese), but [s] in
the borrowed forms in Sino-Japanese and Sino-Korean and the inherited
forms in the modern Chinese dialects. Interestingly enough, Karlgren
(1954/1992) does not mention anything special about this sound
correspondence, although his seminal work on reconstructing ancient
Chinese by comparing Chinese and its borrowed forms in neighboring
countries sheds new light on almost all sound changes in Chinese and its
borrowed forms. It may be the case that he did not realize the importance
of this sound correspondence or that the tokens of /s/-/t/ correspondence
are not enough to lead to any meaningful generalization.
A question may arise with regard to this data: Is the sound change
of /s/o/t/ found in the adoption of Chinese into Sino-Vietnamese
accidental or regular? We have already seen that strengthening of
fricatives is a regular process in first language acquisition in the previous
section. If this is proven to be a rule-based regular phenomenon in lexical
borrowing from a foreign language, then it is surely quite an interesting
phenomenon for the study of comparative-historical linguistics as well as
for the study of lexical borrowing. That is, strengthening of fricatives is
quite widely witnessed not only in (first and second/foreign) language
acquisition, which is an aspect of synchronic linguistics, but also in
lexical borrowing process, which is an aspect of diachronic linguistics
(for a short, relevant discussion on sound substitution, phonic interference,
and foreign accent among bilingual speakers, see Lehiste 1988: 2-6).
Indeed, we have found out that the correspondence between
sibilant fricative /s/ and the alveolar stop /t/ is quite regular among
pronunciations of modern Chinese, Sino-Korean on the one hand and
Sino-Vietnamese on the other hand. (Regarding the period divisions, see
Karlgren 1954/1992 and related works. Also see note 4).
In this section, we first try to establish the existence of the rule for
strengthening of fricatives in the pronunciation reading of SinoVietnamese. We then examine various phonological environments in
which this rule might apply.
First of all, let us consider the following data (hereafter Sino-Korean
160 JOURNAL OF CHINESE LINGUISTICS VOL.43, NO.1A (2015)
is abbreviated to S.-Korean and Sino-Vietnamese to S.-Vietnamese in the
examples): 5
(11)
Chinese
菑 ‘stay over’
S. –Korean S. -Vietnamese
[sù]
[suk]
[túc]
芓 ‘three’
[san]
[sam]
[tam]
苣 ‘west’
[‫ܨ‬i]
[sԥ]
[tây]
荇 ‘tax’
[‫ݔ‬uì]
[se]
[thuӃ]
The examples in (11) are all mono-syllabic. As shown in (11), the initial
/s/ in Chinese is pronounced as /s/ in Sino-Korean, but it is pronounced as
/t/ in corresponding Sino-Vietnamese.6 Note that /‫ܨ‬/ and /‫ݔ‬/ in Chinese are
also pronounced as /t/ or /th/ in Sino-Vietnamese. In other words, sibilant
fricatives are pronounced as stops in Sino-Vietnamese. This phonological
change does not seem to have been influenced by phonological
environment. For example, sibilant fricatives /s, ‫ܨ‬, ‫ݔ‬/ in Chinese become
/t, th/ in Sino-Vietnamese, regardless of the phonological environment.
Now let us consider the case of bi-syllabic compounds, even
though bi-syllabicity does not seem to influence this kind of sound
change. Take a look at the examples in (12).2)
(12)
Chinese
S. –Korean
S. -Vietnamese
[sܺp gwan]
[tԥp kwán]
萀籔 ‘habit’
[‫ܨ‬í quàn]
草误 ‘cell’
[‫ܨ‬ì pao]
[se pho]
草误 ‘cell’
[‫ܨ‬ì pƗo]
[se pho]
[tӃ bào]
萺繲 ‘believer’
[‫ܨ‬ìn t‫ދ‬ú]
[sin do]
[tín dò]
萺贅 ‘signal’
[‫ܨ‬ìn hàu]
[sin ho]
茴粂 ‘sex’
[‫ܨ‬ìƾ t‫ܨ‬iau]
[sԥƾgio]
葖蟹谷 ‘cardiology’[‫ܨ‬Ưn tsàng ‫ܨ‬yé]
[simcaƾhak]
葖翓谷 ‘psychology’[‫ܨ‬Ưn lƱ ‫ܨ‬yé]
[simlihak]
[tԥm lí hӐk]
All the examples in (12) show that the palatal fricative /‫ܨ‬/ became /t/ in
Sino-Vietnamese (see note 6) By the way, note that Vietnamese has a
reversed word order in some noun phrases. That is, the adjective-noun
word order in Chinese and Korean is reversed to the noun-adjective word
order in Vietnamese.7 It follows from the above data that strengthening of
STRENGTHENING OF FRICATIVES 161
1
fricatives in Sino-Vietnamese occurs in bi-syllabic compounds, too.
Before trying to account for why, let us examine more examples, which
contain so-called retroflex fricative /‫ݔ‬/.
(13)
苇聑 ‘life’
Chinese
[‫ݔ‬ԥƾ mìƾ]
S. –Korean
[sæƾmjԥƾ]
荃織 ‘generation’ [‫ݔ‬ì tài]
S. -Vietnamese
[thinh mӋnh]
[se dæ]
[su do]
[thӫ do]
菊芴 ‘prime minister’[‫ݔ‬ǂu ‫ܨ‬iàƾ]
[su saƾ]
[thӫ tæԥƾ]
萣竱 ‘viewpoint’
[‫ݔ‬ì ‫ݺ‬yé]
[si gak]
[thӏ zák]
葃贬 ‘myth’
[‫ݔ‬ԥn xuà]
[sin hwa]
[thԥn thwҥƱ]
葒貛 ‘experiment’ [‫ݔ‬í ièn]
[sil hԥm]
[thæk ƾiҥm]
萣缩 ‘sight’
[si ljԥk]
[thӏ læk]
葒虑 ‘pragmatism’ [‫ݔ‬í iòƾ]
[sil joƾ]
[thæk zөƾ]
葃舟 ‘mystery’
[‫ۑݔ‬n mì]
[sin bi]
[thԥn bí]
葃谷 ‘theology’
[‫ۑݔ‬n ‫ܨ‬yé]
[sin hak]
[thԥn hӐk]
葌誎 ‘body’
[‫ۑݔ‬n t‫ދ‬Ʊ]
[sin che]
[thԥn thҿ]
荲襽 ‘colony’
[‫ݔ‬ǎ tì]
[sok ci]
[thuӑk dӏa]
菊纋 ‘capital city’ [‫ݔ‬ǂu tnj
]
[‫ݔ‬ì lì]
The examples in (13) show that the retroflex fricative /‫ݔ‬/ in Chinese
became aspirated stop /th/ in Sino-Vietnamese. Both the retroflex fricative
/‫ݔ‬/ discussed above and the palatal fricative /‫ܨ‬/ (shown in (12)) became /s/
in Sino-Korean. Chinese retroflex /t‫ݔ‬h/ (similar to English affricate in
“church”) and /t‫ݔ‬/ (similar to the English voiced affricate in “George”)
are unaspirated and aspirated, respectively. These two fricatives became
aspirated stop /th/ in Sino-Vietnamese. This is illustrated in (14) below.
(14)
Chinese
S. –Korean
菨箥 ‘purity’
[t‫ݔ‬hún t‫ܨ‬ié]
[sun kiԥl]
S. -Vietnamese
[thwԥn kåiét]
茱籏 ‘castle’
[t‫ݔ‬héƾ kuo]
[sԥƾgwak]
[thÈƾ kwÉk
萮肵 ‘plant’
[t‫ݔ‬í ù]
[sik mul]
[thæk vԥt]
Strengthening of fricatives in Sino-Vietnamese is also found in the
initial position of the second member of bi-syllabic compounds. For
example, consider the following.
162 JOURNAL OF CHINESE LINGUISTICS VOL.43, NO.1A (2015)
(15)
Chinese
S. -Korean
S. -Vietnamese
舟苗 ‘secretary’
[mì ‫ݔ‬u]
[bi sԥ]
[bí thæ]
貇茷 ‘planet’
[‫ܨ‬íƾ ‫ܨ‬iƾ]
[hæƾ sԥƾ]
[hÈƾ tiƾ]
蚖萐 ‘primitive’
[yæn ‫ݔ‬i]
[wԥn si]
[ƾwian thwӍ]
The examples in (15) suggest that fricatives in the initial position of the
second member of the bi-syllabic compounds became aspirated stop /th/ in
Sino-Vietnamese. In other words, strengthening of fricatives is not
affected by the position in the syllabic structure. So far we have seen that
fricatives in Chinese became stop sounds in Sino-Vietnamese. This is
summarized as in (16) below.
(16)
Strengthening of fricatives in Sino-Vietnamese
a. /‫ܨ‬/ o /t/ (see the examples in (12))
b. /‫ݔ‬/ o /th/ (see the examples in (13))
c. / t‫ݔ‬h, t‫ ݔ‬/ o /th/ (see the examples in (14))
We can further summarized the sound changes given in (16) as what
follows.
(17)
Strengthening of fricatives in Sino-Vietnamese
Sibilant fricatives in Ancient Chinese became (+/- aspirated) stops in SinoVietnamese.
A question that naturally arises is why it is so. We may offer a
parallel explanation for lexical borrowing as well as in (first and
second/foreign) language acquisition. That is, linguistic markedness
originally proposed in Jakobson (1968) plays a role in these seeminglyunrelated phenomena. Thus, fricatives are substituted by stops in
language acquisition and lexical borrowing as well. In this sense,
Jakobson's original observation is far more powerful: Not only is the
markedness theory useful for explaining language acquisition and
language universals, it is also useful in explaining what happens in
language contact environment including lexical borrowing.
However, a word of caution is in order here. Not only the sibilant
fricatives but also other historical Chinese initial consonants, including
STRENGTHENING OF FRICATIVES 163
1
stops and affricates, were realized in Sino-Vietnamese a alveolar stops.
On top of that, not all sibilant fricatives in Chinese seem to have become
a stop in Sino-Vietnamese, of course. Thus, the following examples seem
to constitute a counterexample to our theory.
(18)
Chinese
S. –Korean
S. -Vietnamese
苇聑 ‘life’
[‫ݔ‬eƾ mìng]
[sæƾmjԥƾ]
[siƾ mҥƾ]
谷苇 ‘student’
[‫ܨ‬ué ‫ݔ‬Ɲƾ]
[haksæƾ]
[hӐk siƾ]
芄 ‘mountain’
[‫ݔ‬Ɨn]
[san]
[sѫn]
In (18), we see that the same retroflex /‫ݔ‬/ corresponds to the sibilant
fricative /s/ in Sino-Vietnamese. Why is it so? On different background,
Ettlinger (2008) notes that the child continues velarization for talk,
pronouncing it as [kԥk], while the same child pronounces the newly
acquired word table correctly. We may capitalize on this observation and
apply it to the lexical borrowing situation. That is, some sibilant fricatives
are borrowed into Vietnamese in different periods of time. Thus, 苇聑
‘life’ which underwent the change and hence the pronunciation [thinh
mӋnh] in Sino-Vietnamese, and at the same time it was borrowed with
different pronunciation, namely [siƾ mҥƾ]. That's why we have two
different pronunciations of the same sibilant fricative in this case.8
3. CONCLUDING REMARKS
In this article, we have proposed that the well-known theory of
markedness in first language acquisition is also in operation in the
process of lexical borrowing. To establish this proposal, we have
examined data from Chinese, Sino-Vietnamese, and Sino-Korean and
reached a conclusion that fricatives of source language, namely Chinese,
are shifted to stops in target language, i.e., Sino-Vietnamese. Our finding
can be summarized as what follows.
(19)
Strengthening of fricatives in Sino-Vietnamese
Sibilant fricatives in Ancient Chinese became stops in Sino-Vietnamese.
With regard to this phenomenon, we may offer the same explanation as
the one proposed for first language acquisition, namely, linguistic
164 JOURNAL OF CHINESE LINGUISTICS VOL.43, NO.1A (2015)
markedness plays a role. That is, fricatives are substituted by stops in
language acquisition and lexical borrowing as well. In this sense,
Jakobson's (1968) original observation is far more powerful: Not only is
the markedness theory useful for explaining language acquisition and
language universals, it is also useful in explaining lexical borrowing.
NOTES
1. An earlier version of this article was orally presented at the Annual
Conference of the Linguistics Society of Korea, held at Konkuk
University, Seoul, during January 5~6, 2010 and at the Department of
Korean Studies, Graduate School, Sangmyung University, Seoul, Korea. I
would like to thank the audience of these occasions for their helpful
comments and questions. My special thanks go to Professor Hyon-Sook
Shin for inviting me to the Department and professor Jeong-Yeol Mo and
Hong Joon Um for many questions and useful suggestions. My thanks
also go to Professor Ngo Binh at Harvard University for his help with
Vietnamese phonetics. I also thank the anonymous reviewers of this
article for comments and critique. Without their criticism and suggestions,
this article would surely have been pretty much uglier. All errors are,
however, my own.
2. One of the anonymous reviewers suggests that the term ‘plosivization’
might also represent the purpose here. Language acquisitionist and
theoretical linguists including Azzaro (1989), Dinnsen and Barlow (1998),
and Dinnsen, O’Connor and Gierut (2001) employ the term ‘stopping.’
Adopting the suggestion by the reviewer, we use the term ‘strengthening’
in the sense that a change from a stop to a fricative is called ‘weakening
in historical linguistics and that a change from a fricative to a stop would
presumably be called ‘strengthening.’ For more relevant discussion on
acquisition of fricatives, readers are advised to refer to the following
works: Gnanadesikan (2004), Kirchner (1996), Li, Edwards, and
Beckman (2009), Macken (1980), Macken and Ferguson (1987),
Moskowitz (1975), Mowrer and Sundstrom (1988), Rockman and Elbert
(1984), Ulatowska and Baker (1977), and Ulfsbjorninn (2008).
3. Of course, not all sibilant fricatives are substituted by stops, as Cho
and Lee (2003) report on. Their Korean data include /s/Æ/h/ shift, as in
STRENGTHENING OF FRICATIVES 165
1
[hadadi] for /sadari/, [huaga] for /sagwa/, and [hat’aƾ] for /sathaƾ/.
Although Cho and Lee (2003) report that the sibilant fricatives are shifted
to [h], this does not necessarily preclude the possibility of strengthening.
For phonetic symbols in this article, I have used the symbols in Pullum
and Ladusaw (1996).
4. Baxter’s Old Chinese and Karlgren’s Archaic Chinese refer to the
language of Shijing [Book of Odes] from circa 1000 BCE. Karlgren’s
Ancient Chinese and the term Early Middle Chinese used by later
historical Chinese phonologists refer to the Chinese language believed to
underlie the 7th century rime book Qieyun compiled in 601 CE by Lu
Fayan. Thanks to an anonymous reviewer for this clarification.
5. The following IPA symbols correspond to the Pinyin symbols,
respectively (Pinyin=IPA order): b=p, p=ph, m=m, f=f, d=t, t=th, n=n, l=l,
g=k, k=kh, h=x, z=ts, c=tsh, s=s, zh=t‫ݔ‬, ch= t‫ݔ‬h, sh=‫ݔ‬, j=t‫ܨ‬, q= t‫ܨ‬h, x=‫ܨ‬,
and r=௦. Readers are also referred to the Chinese phonemic chart in (8).
For the pronunciation and related facts, I have referred to Hanyu fangyan
zihui 㻘幼脙蜮螳㻖 (A collection of characters of various Chinese
dialects) (BDZYWYY 1989) and Gujin ziyin duizhao Shoubiao
篴細螳蜮⺈裭莝谉 (Comparison of Chinese characters in their old and
new forms) (Ding and Li 1981).
6. Chinese fricative /‫ܨ‬/ corresponds to Sino-Korean /h/ and SinoVietnamese /h/. Even though it is generally known in the traditional
Korean grammar that /h/ is palatalized to /s/ if preceded or followed by a
front vowel, Jang (2008) proposes a different possibility such that /s/
became /h/, given an appropriate phonological context. For relevant
discussion, see Jang (2008).
7. In fact, some compounds also have reversed word order in SinoVietnamese. Thus, 茴粂 ‘sex’ in Chinese and Sino-Korean corresponds to
粂茴 [giӟi tính] in Sino-Vietnamese. 葖蟹谷 [‫ܨ‬in tsàƾ ‫ܨ‬yé] in Chinese and
Sino-Korean is predictably 蟹[膂]谷葖 [bӋnh hӑc tim] in SinoVietnamese. These particular lexical items are literally translated into
Sino-Vietnamese only to show the pronunciation.
8. The fact that not alll alveolar fricatives in Chinese correspond to the
alveolar stop sound in Sino-Vietnamese, as in 苇 [sinh], suggests that
Sino-Vietnamese vocabulary has been borrowed in different periods or
from different sources.
166 JOURNAL OF CHINESE LINGUISTICS VOL.43, NO.1A (2015)
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䈝䀰Ґᗇ઼䈝䀰ُ⭘ѝ᪙ᬖ丣Ⲵ䰝ຎ丣ॆü
ԕ䎺ই≹ᆇ丣Ѫᇎֻ
ᕐ㦓‫׺‬
ѝཞབྷᆖ俆ቄ
ᨀ㾱
ᵜ䇪᮷ᨀࠪᒦ䇱᰾൘䈝䀰Ґᗇѝ㻛Ӫᡰ⟏ᚹⲴḷ䇠⨶䇪ҏਟԕ䘀⭘ࡠ䈝
䀰ُ⭘ѝ৫DŽ⇽䈝Ґᗇᰦ䟷⭘Ⲵ৏ࡉᐢ㓿㻛ᒯ⌋䇱ᇎՊ൘ㅜҼ䈝䀰ཆ
䈝Ґᗇѝ㻛֯⭘˗❦㘼ˈ䈝䀰ُ⭘ᴹ⵰⴨լⲴ༴⨶઼৏ࡉˈᡰԕ⇽䈝Ґ
ᗇ઼ཆ䈝ُ⭘䰤Ⲵ∄䖳аⴤн㻛Ӫ䟽㿶DŽާփᶕ䈤ˈᡁԜሶᤷࠪ䎧Ⓚ䈝
䀰ѝⲴ᪙ᬖ丣൘ⴞḷ䈝䀰ѝՊਈᡀຎ丣ˈ䘉ቡ⴨ᖃҾՇᡰઘ⸕Ⲵ丣严༴
⨶䗷〻ˈণ᪙ᬖ丣㻛᜿䇶ᡀຎ丣ˈᆳԜ൘⇽䈝Ґᗇѝ∄䎧ຎ丣Պ䖳ᲊ㻛
ҐᗇDŽ∄䖳а㡜䈝䀰ҐᗇⲴ䍴ᯉ઼൘䎺ই䈝ѝُ⭘ѝ᮷ᰦ᪙ᬖ丣ਁ⭏䰝
ຎⲴ⧠䊑ˈᡁԜਟԕӾѝᗇࡠ䇱ᦞDŽᡰԕˈᡁԜሶՊ∄䖳⧠ԓ≹䈝ѝⲴ
㠼ቆ喯喸᪙ᬖ丣઼ᆳԜ൘䎺ই≹ᆇ丣઼丙䈝≹ᆇ丣ѝⲴ㻛ُ⭘ᖒᔿDŽ
ѫ仈䇽
䈝䀰ُ⭘䈝
䈝䀰Ґᗇ䎺
䎺ই≹ᆇ丣丙
丙䈝≹ᆇ丣ѝ
ѝ᮷ຎ
ຎ丣᪙
᪙ᬖ丣Ⲵ䰝ຎ
᪙ᬖ丣ຎ丣Ⲵ䖜ᦒ
Dept of English Language and Literature
Chung-Ang University
Hukseok-Ro 84
Dongjak-Gu, Seoul, 156-756
South Korea
[[email protected]]
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