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Languages 2017, 2(4), 29; doi:10.3390/languages2040029

The Effects of Code-Switching and Lexical Stress on Vowel Quality and Duration of Heritage Speakers of Spanish

Department of Spanish and Portuguese, Indiana University, 355 North Jordan Avenue, GISB 2160, Bloomington, IN 47405, USA
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Academic Editors: Antje Muntendam and Carolina González
Received: 30 June 2017 / Revised: 1 December 2017 / Accepted: 12 December 2017 / Published: 21 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bilingualism in the Hispanic and Lusophone World)
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Abstract

The quantity of research on Heritage Speakers (HS) of Spanish phonetics has increased over the last decade, including studies on the possible effect of code-switching on Spanish phonetics. Following this line of research, the present study investigates the role of code-switching and lexical stress on Spanish HS vowel production, specifically if the introduction of English reduces the vowel quality and duration of Spanish vowels after a code-switch. Eleven Spanish HSs participated in a controlled narration task in which they were asked to read aloud texts that code-switched between English and Spanish and one text that only contained Spanish. PRAAT was used to segment the vowels and the F1 and F2 values, along with duration, were extracted. The results show that both code-switching and lexical stress significantly affect Spanish HS vowels. Code-switching and vowels in unstressed position were more centralized than the vowels in the monolingual Spanish session and vowels in stressed position, respectively; unstressed vowels were also shorter in duration than stressed vowels. These results show that the introduction of English—a language in which vowel quality and duration change between unstressed and stressed syllables—via code-switching significantly affects Spanish HS vowels, subsequently providing evidence for transient interference. View Full-Text
Keywords: Spanish heritage speakers; phonetics; vowel production; code-switching; vowel quality; vowel duration; lexical stress Spanish heritage speakers; phonetics; vowel production; code-switching; vowel quality; vowel duration; lexical stress
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Elias, V.; McKinnon, S.; Milla-Muñoz, Á. The Effects of Code-Switching and Lexical Stress on Vowel Quality and Duration of Heritage Speakers of Spanish. Languages 2017, 2, 29.

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