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Open AccessArticle

Short-Term Sources of Cross-Linguistic Phonetic Influence: Examining the Role of Linguistic Environment

School of Languages and Cultures, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA
Languages 2020, 5(4), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages5040043
Received: 16 August 2020 / Revised: 8 October 2020 / Accepted: 13 October 2020 / Published: 24 October 2020
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: bilingualism; phonetics; language mode; cross-linguistic influence; transfer; voice onset time; global accent rating bilingualism; phonetics; language mode; cross-linguistic influence; transfer; voice onset time; global accent rating
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Olson, D.J. Short-Term Sources of Cross-Linguistic Phonetic Influence: Examining the Role of Linguistic Environment. Languages 2020, 5, 43.

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