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Emergent Faithfulness to Proper Nouns in Novel English Blends
Rachel Broad, Brandon Prickett, Elliott Moreton, Katya Pertsova, and Jennifer L. Smith
77-87 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


Following research that has shown languages such as Jordanian Arabic (Jaber 2011) and Canadian French (Walker 1984) to exhibit special faithfulness to proper nouns, this study sought to find emergent effects (McCarthy and Prince 1994) of proper noun faithfulness in the phonology of English speakers. Lexical blends have been shown to be an effective tool in finding other emergent effects in English. These include faithfulness to semantic heads and faithfulness to common nouns (Shaw 2013, Shaw et al. 2014, and related work). In this study, 270 English speakers showed emergent faithfulness to proper nouns (in the absence of these effects in the English lexicon) during two experiments in which they matched novel blends to definitions based on a proper/common noun manipulation. The results suggest that the category of proper noun is, in fact, relevant to phonology, and that proper noun faithfulness constraints are available across languages.

Published in

Proceedings of the 33rd West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics
edited by Kyeong-min Kim, Pocholo Umbal, Trevor Block, Queenie Chan, Tanie Cheng, Kelli Finney, Mara Katz, Sophie Nickel-Thompson, and Lisa Shorten
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Printed edition: $375.00