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lun. 02/07/2018 Seeking cross-linguistic interaction in the phonetic and phonological development of bilingual French-speaking children
ISH, salle André Frossard
Conférence de :
  • Margaret (Kehoe)
séminaire bilinguisme

This study focuses on three different areas of phonetic-phonological development (syllable structure, Voice Onset Time (VOT), and word prosody) in monolingual and bilingual French-speaking children, aged 2;6 to 6;0 years. The bilingual children all speak French at crèche and at school but they have differing first languages (L1) (e.g., Spanish, Portuguese, German, and English). The aim of the study is to determine whether bilinguals differ from monolinguals and, if so, whether differences can be explained by the typology of the bilingual’s home language. We are also interested in whether certain areas of phonetic-phonological development are more susceptible to cross-linguistic influence than others. Specifically, we examined whether bilingual children show delay or acceleration in the acquisition of word-final codas and clusters; whether bilingual children produce target voiceless stops with longer VOTs and target voiced stops with less lead voicing than monolingual children; and whether they exhibit different duration ratios between stressed and unstressed syllables in their disyllabic word productions. Results showed evidence of monolingual-bilingual differences in syllable structure. In the youngest set of children (aged 2;6), these differences were related to typological effects whereas in the older children (aged 3;0 to 6;0), they could be explained by dominance effects. Monolingual-bilingual differences in VOT were minimal. Bilingual children realized target voiceless stops with the same short lag values as monolingual children. However, they produced significantly fewer target voiced stops with lead voicing than monolinguals. There were no monolingual-bilingual differences in word prosody at any age. The duration ratio of syllable 2 to syllable 1 was the same regardless of whether the bilingual’s L1 was a Germanic (English or German) or Romance (Spanish, Italian, Portuguese) language. In sum, cross-linguistic interaction was mainly evident in syllable structure development. The relevance of these results for models of cross-linguistic interaction is discussed



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