Elad Eisen


SegBo: A Database of Borrowed Sounds in the World’s Languages
Eitan Grossman | Elad Eisen | Dmitry Nikolaev | Steven Moran
Proceedings of the Twelfth Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

Phonological segment borrowing is a process through which languages acquire new contrastive speech sounds as the result of borrowing new words from other languages. Despite the fact that phonological segment borrowing is documented in many of the world’s languages, to date there has been no large-scale quantitative study of the phenomenon. In this paper, we present SegBo, a novel cross-linguistic database of borrowed phonological segments. We describe our data aggregation pipeline and the resulting language sample. We also present two short case studies based on the database. The first deals with the impact of large colonial languages on the sound systems of the world’s languages; the second deals with universals of borrowing in the domain of rhotic consonants.