While previous research has shown that bilinguals are able to effectively maintain two sets of phonetic norms, these two phonetic systems experience varying degrees of cross-linguistic influence, driven by both long-term (e.g., proficiency, immersion) and short-term (e.g., bilingual language contexts, code-switching, sociolinguistic) factors. This study examines the potential for linguistic environment, or the language norms of the broader community in which an interaction takes place, to serve as a source of short-term cross-linguistic phonetic influence. To investigate the role of linguistic environment, late bilinguals (L1 English—L2 Spanish) produced Spanish utterances in two sessions that differed in their linguistic environments: an English-dominant linguistic environment (Indiana, USA) and a Spanish-dominant linguistic environment (Madrid, Spain). Productions were analyzed at the fine-grained acoustic level, through an acoustic analysis of voice onset time, as well as more holistically through native speaker global accent ratings. Results showed that linguistic environment did not significantly impact either measure of phonetic production, regardless of a speaker’s second language proficiency. These results, in conjunction with previous results on long- and short-term sources of phonetic influence, suggest a possible primacy of the immediate context of an interaction, rather than broader community norms, in determining language mode and cross-linguistic influence.
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