[DAMULAKIS & NEVINS] An orthographic twist to the Oprah Effect

Gean Damulakis & Andrew Nevins

(reviewers: Joaquim Brandão de Carvalho, Quentin Dabouis, Gerjan Postma)

download paper and reviews

Abstract: Jurgec (2014) demonstrates the Oprah Effect, whereby loanwords show a non-native segmental adaptation (e.g. English retroflex [ɹ̠ ] being used in Dutch) until they undergo morphological derivation, at which point they revert to a native adaptation (e.g. the Standard Dutch rhotic). We present a twist on this effect with [ʌ]- and [ɝ]- containing English loanwords into Brazilian Portuguese, e.g. surf, bug, crush: under morphological derivation, they adapt an orthographically-based mapping (e.g. Hamann & Colombo 2017) that, while unfaithful to the acoustics of the source language, provides an alternative for the derived form. We suggest that the differences lie in independently needed mechanisms for nominal and verbal allomorphs in BP roots, and the interaction of the morphological notion of Head of a Word with the chosen orthographic subsystem mapping that a whole word must adopt throughout.

Damulakis, Gean & Nevins, Andrew. 2022. “An orthographic twist to the Oprah Effect”. Radical: A Journal of Phonology, 3, 89-124.