Vowel Substitution: A Comparative Study of English Loans in Punjabi and Urdu

Qandeel Hussain, Rashid Mahmood, Muhammad Asim Mahmood


The present paper examines the adaptation of English loanwords in Punjabi and Urdu particularly substitution of vowels. It is a comparative study of vowel substitution in Punjabi and Urdu which concludes that both recipient languages reshape English vowels to the closest available vowels in their phonemic inventories. For the purpose of determining the substitution of vowels, two corpora have been used: questionnaire-based corpus of English loanwords in Punjabi and Urdu (Hussain, 2011), and spoken corpus based on Punjabi dramas, films, and real life conversations (Mahmood et al., 2011). English monophthongs, diphthongs and triphthongs that are selected for analysis are /ɒ/, /ɔ:/, /ɜ:/, /eɪ/, /aɪ/, /əʊ/, /aɪə/. The paper elucidates that vowel substitution is a patterned and systematic phenomenon in Punjabi and Urdu loanword phonology, on the basis of these patterns substitution of English loanwords containing monophthongs and diphthongs that are yet to be borrowed is possible.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/ijl.v3i1.1022

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