Publication details

Phonology and Attrition: Sociolinguistics of (Ukrainian) Sound Perception



Year of publication 2024
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Półrocznik Językoznawczy Tertium
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Keywords phonetics, phonology, language attrition, language drift, English, Ukrainian, Czech
Description This article’s research question is to explore the role of sociolinguistic factors in combination with phonology-driven perception. The preliminary hypothesis is that sociolinguistic factors like bilingualism and L2 interference (attrition, as in de Leeuw, E., Chang, C. 2023) may have a decisive role in the process of sound perception and is based on the example of English-Czech/Slovak and English-Ukrainian loanword adaptation cases involving the phonemes /g/, /h/, /?/, and /x/: Czech and Slovak speakers adapt [h] as [?] while Ukrainian speakers tend to adapt the same phoneme as [x] despite having /?/ in their phonological inventory. This tendency seems to correlate with phonological attrition (L2 interference of Russian) and has been a topic of active discussions, especially so since the 2022 full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine. The research method is based on a questionnaire with audio samples containing both already existing and made-up proper names and words. Half of the test vocabulary units are designed to contain the chosen sounds, the rest of the units are represented by established, already existing, names, and units that do not contain the chosen sounds to provide a cover for the experiment. The respondents are asked to listen to the audio samples and write down the units as they hear them using the Ukrainian alphabet. The respondents were provided with a fake description, and a fake goal of the experiment to exclude possible bias.
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