A current controversy in phonological theory concerns the explanation of crosslinguistic tendencies. It is often assumed that crosslinguistic tendencies are explained by mental bias: a pattern is common because it is favored by learners/speakers. But work by Blevins and colleagues in EVOLUTIONARY PHONOLOGY has argued that many crosslinguistic tendencies can be explained without positing such bias. This would mean that crosslinguistic tendencies cannot be unproblematically used as evidence about the mental machinery that humans bring to learning and using language. In response, many researchers have looked at different types of data, such as processing, learning of real and artificial languages, and literary invention. This article presents another type of data: extension of native-language phonology to words with novel phonological structure, in this case infixation in Tagalog into loanwords with novel initial consonant clusters. The data come from a written corpus and a survey. Tagalog speakers’ treatment of these clusters parallels Fleischhacker’s crosslinguistic findings of cluster splittability. This article argues that explaining the data requires attributing to Tagalog speakers phonetic knowledge and a bias about how to apply that knowledge.


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pp. 277-316
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