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The effects of language dominance switch in bilinguals: Galician new speakers' speech production and perception

  • GISELA TOMÉ LOURIDO (a1) and BRONWEN G. EVANS (a2)

Abstract

It has long been debated whether speech production and perception remain flexible in adulthood. The current study investigates the effects of language dominance switch in Galician new speakers (neofalantes) who are raised with Spanish as a primary language and learn Galician at an early age in a bilingual environment, but in adolescence, decide to switch to using Galician almost exclusively, for ideological reasons. Results showed that neofalantes pattern with Spanish-dominants in their perception and production of mid-vowel and fricative contrasts, but with Galician-dominants in their realisation of unstressed word-final vowels, a highly salient feature of Galician. These results are taken to suggest that despite early exposure to Galician, high motivation and almost exclusive Galician language use post-switch, there are limitations to what neofalantes can learn in both production and perception, but that the hybrid categories they appear to develop may function as opportunities to mark identity within a particular community.

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Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: School of Languages, Cultures and Societies, Room B14, Michael Sadler Building, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, United Kingdomg.tomelourido@leeds.ac.uk

Footnotes

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*We thank Antonio Cardenal for his help in providing and implementing the forced aligner. We are grateful to Xosé Luís Regueira and Elisa Fernández Rei for help with data collection and discussions about this project. The writing of this article also benefitted from networking with members of COST Action IS1306 New Speakers in a Multilingual Europe: Opportunities and Challenges and discussions at the Sociophonetics Discussant session at ICPhS 2015 led by Paul Foulkes.

Supplementary material can be found online at https://doi.org/10.1017/S1366728918000603

Footnotes

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