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In recent years, loanword phonology has attracted continuously growing attention as an area able to shed additional light on universal phonological patterns. The contexts and processes of loanword adaptation present a dy namic interaction between two distinct systems allowing for different theo retical interpretations (Paradis, 1996). Optimality Theory (Prince and Smolensky, 1993) has been suggested as a possible framework to analyze these processes (Yip, 1993; Katayama, 1998; Jacobs and Gussenhoven, 2000). The fact that OT recognizes the difference between languages as a difference in the ranking of the same universal constraints could explain the changes that loanwords may or may not suffer depending on the compatibil ity of the donor and the recipient languages' inventories and structures. The strategies of loanword adaptation through oral process in a contact situation, such as the one between Spanish and colloquial Arabic in North Africa, con sist in the recipient language harmonizing the borrowed item to satisfy its own constraint hierarchy. Because loanwords already show higher lexical contrast with the rest of the words in the recipient language, given that they satisfy the source language's faithfulness constraints, then we might expect that markedness constraints can easily dominate the faithfulness ones in the process of adaptation since by belonging to another grammar these words already show higher level of lexical contrast with the rest of the recipient grammar.


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This is the Publisher’s PDF of the following article made available by University of Pennsylvania Libraries © 2005: Sayahi, Lotfi. 2005d. Phonological adaptation of Spanish loanwords in Northern Moroccan Arabic. University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics 11 (1). 253–263. Available at:



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