Among 4,499 segmental malformations found in English loanwords in three large corpora of French, the laryngeal /h/ is the only segment that is never adapted, i.e. replaced by another segment. We suggest that the systematic deletion of /h/ in French follows from the fact that, phonologically, French, like Portuguese and Italian, does not employ the Pharyngeal node, the articulator that characterises gutturals. This prevents English /h/ from being handled phonologically (deleted or substituted) in those languages. The non-availability of the Pharyngeal node also explains systematic deletion of the pharyngeal and laryngeal gutturals in Arabic loanwords in French. In contrast, English /h/ is adapted by languages employing the Pharyngeal node phonologically, such as Spanish, Bulgarian, Catalan, Mandarin Chinese, Greek and Russian. Likewise, the availability of the Pharyngeal node in Fula and English allows the adaptation of Arabic pharyngeal and laryngeal gutturals in Fula, and non-glottal gutturals in English.
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