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Acceleration in the bilingual acquisition of phonological structure: Evidence from Polish–English bilingual children

Tamburelli, M. and Sanoudaki, E. and Jones, G. and Sowinska, M. (2014) Acceleration in the bilingual acquisition of phonological structure: Evidence from Polish–English bilingual children. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 18 (4). pp. 713-725. DOI: 10.1017/S1366728914000716

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Abstract

This study examines the production of consonant clusters in simultaneous Polish�English bilingual children and in language-matched English monolinguals (aged 7;01�8;11). Selection of the language pair was based on the fact that Polish allows a greater range of consonant clusters than English. A nonword repetition task was devised in order to examine clusters of different types (obstruent-liquid vs. s + obstruent) and in different word positions (initial vs. medial), two factors that play a significant role in repetition accuracy in monolingual acquisition (e.g., Kirk & Demuth, 2005). Our findings show that bilingual children outperformed monolingual controls in the word initial s + obstruent condition. These results indicate that exposure to complex word initial clusters (in Polish) can accelerate the development of less phonologically complex clusters (in English). This constitutes significant new evidence that the facilitatory effects of bilingual acquisition extend to structural phonological domains. The implications that these results have on competing views of phonological organisation and phonological complexity are also discussed.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Research Publications
Departments: College of Arts and Humanities > School of Linguistics and English Language
Date Deposited: 29 Jul 2015 02:35
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2015 02:31
ISSN: 1366-7289
Publisher's Statement: Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2014
URI: http://e.bangor.ac.uk/id/eprint/4890
Identification Number: DOI: 10.1017/S1366728914000716
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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