Huinan Zeng

DPhil Student
A photograph of Huinan Zeng


I am interested in the effect of loanwords introduced through historical language contact on a language’s phonological system.


My DPhil research project explores the phonology and processing of Sino-Japanese loanwords (i.e. loanwords from Chinese into Japanese) through synchronic and diachronic investigations.

I am also interested in the underspecification of speech sounds in the lexical representation.

I previously completed an MPhil in General Linguistics and Comparative Philology at the University of Oxford and, before that, a BA in English Language and Linguistics at the University of Sheffield.

For both of my MPhil and BA thesis, I studied the issue of how speech sounds are stored in the mind and how the surface variations are matched with the underlying representations. My focus was on Mandarin Chinese, and my intention was to try to understand how listeners perceive and extract meanings from spoken words.