This article investigates whether speakers marshal phonetic integration as a strategy to distinguish language-contact phenomena. Systematic comparison of the behavior of individuals, diagnostics, and language-mixing types (code-switches, established loanwords, and nonce borrowings) reveals variability at every level of the adaptation process, providing strong evidence that bilinguals do not phonetically distinguish other-language words, nonce or dictionary-attested, in a uniform way. This is in striking contrast to the community-wide morphosyntactic treatment they afford this same material when borrowing it: immediate, quasi-categorical, and consistent. This confirms that phonetic and morphosyntactic integration are independent. Only the latter is a reliable metric for distinguishing language-mixing types.