Special Issue "Social and Psychological Factors in Bilingual Speech Production"

A special issue of Languages (ISSN 2226-471X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (26 February 2021) | Viewed by 21711

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A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Robert Mayr
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Centre for Speech and Language Therapy and Hearing Sciences, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Cardiff CF5 2YB, UK
Interests: bilingual and multilingual speech development; L2 speech learning; L1 attrition of speech; acoustic and articulatory phonetics; phonetics and phonology of language contact; speech patterns of heritage language speakers and new speakers
Dr. Jonathan Morris
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Welsh, Cardiff University, Cardiff CF10 3EU, UK
Interests: language variation and change; sociophonetics; bilingualism; L2 speech learning

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are currently inviting submissions for a Special Issue of Languages entitled “Social and Psychological Factors in Bilingual Speech Production.”

Studies in the fields of bilingualism and second language acquisition have shown that both cognitive and affective psychological factors can influence individuals’ bilingual speech production (e.g., Flege et al., 1999; Moyer, 2014; Piske et al., 2001). More recently, both experimental and variationist studies of bilingual communities have examined the role of social factors on bilinguals’ speech, particularly in cases of long-term language contact and minority-language bilingualism (e.g., McCarthy et al., 2013; Nance, 2015, 2019; Sharma & Sankaran, 2011). The Special Issue will bring together work on the psychological and/or social factors which influence bilingual speech production as well as work using different methodological frameworks. Our aim is to examine the role of such factors on bilingual speech production in diverse contexts, in order to provide a more holistic account of the ways in which extra-linguistic influences may affect bilinguals’ speech in one or both of their languages.

We invite submissions which examine the role of psychological and/or social factors on bilingual speech production. We interpret bilingualism in its broadest sense and the Special Issue will include work on bilingual first language acquisition as well as second language acquisition across speech contexts. Such contexts may include, but need not be limited to:

  • heritage-language speakers
  • minority-language bilinguals
  • new speakers
  • contexts of tutored and naturalistic second language acquisition
  • instances of language attrition

We request that, prior to submitting a manuscript, interested authors initially submit a proposed title and an abstract of 400-600 words summarizing their intended contribution. Please send it to the guest editors ([email protected]; [email protected]) or to /Languages/ editorial office ([email protected]). Abstracts will be reviewed by the guest editors for the purposes of ensuring proper fit within the scope of the Special Issue. Full manuscripts will undergo double-blind peer-review.

The tentative completion schedule is as follows:

Deadline for abstract submission: 23 October 2020

Notification of abstract acceptance: 30 October 2020

Deadline for manuscript submission: 26 February 2021

References:

Flege, J. E., Yeni-Komshian, G. H., & Liu, S. (1999). Age constraints on second-language acquisition. Journal of Memory and Language, 41, 78-104.

McCarthy, K., Evans, B., & Mahon, M. (2013). Acquiring a second language in an immigrant community: The production of Sylheti and English stops and vowels by London-Bengali speakers. Journal of Phonetics, 41, 344–358.

Moyer, A. (2014). Exceptional outcomes in L2 phonology: The critical factors of learner engagement and self-regulation. Applied Linguistics, 35, 418-440.

Nance, C. (2019). Bilingual language exposure and the peer group: acquiring phonetics and phonology in Gaelic medium education. International Journal of Bilingualism, doi: 10.1177/1367006919826872

Nance, C. (2015). 'New' Scottish Gaelic speakers in Glasgow: A phonetic study of language revitalization. Language in Society, 44, 553-579.

Piske, T., MacKay, I. R. A. & Flege, J. E. (2001). Factors affecting degree of foreign accent in an L2: a review. Journal of Phonetics, 29, 191–215.

Sharma, D., & Sankaran, L. (2011). Cognitive and social forces in dialect shift: Gradual change in London Asian speech. Language Variation and Change, 23, 399–428.

Dr. Robert Mayr
Dr. Jonathan Morris
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Languages is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • bilingualism
  • speech production
  • acoustic and articulatory phonetics
  • language contact
  • socio-phonetic variation in bilingual communities
  • L2 speech learning
  • L1 and L2 attrition of speech
  • heritage languages
  • new speakers

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Editorial

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Editorial
Social and Psychological Factors in Bilingual Speech Production: Introduction to the Special Issue
Languages 2021, 6(4), 155; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages6040155 - 28 Sep 2021
Viewed by 1015
Abstract
The pronunciation patterns of bilinguals and their development have been investigated in a number of ways [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social and Psychological Factors in Bilingual Speech Production)

Research

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Article
Psycho-Social Constraints on Naturalistic Adult Second Language Acquisition
Languages 2021, 6(3), 129; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages6030129 - 28 Jul 2021
Viewed by 1491
Abstract
The following study investigated a rare case of adult immersion in a second language context without prior exposure to the language. It aimed to investigate whether Length of Residence (LoR) acts as a strong index of L2 speech performance when coupled with daily [...] Read more.
The following study investigated a rare case of adult immersion in a second language context without prior exposure to the language. It aimed to investigate whether Length of Residence (LoR) acts as a strong index of L2 speech performance when coupled with daily exposure and interaction with first language speakers. Twenty-two females from Africa and Asia who worked as Foreign Domestic Helpers (FDH) in Omani homes and with varying LoRs performed an AX discrimination and a production task which tapped into Omani consonants and clusters that are absent from their L1s; their accent was also rated by L1 Omani listeners. Results showed a surprising lack of significance of LoR on all the production and perception measures examined. Discrimination results showed a low sensitivity to Arabic consonantal contrasts that are lacking in the L1 across all participants, and a small positive effect of L1 literacy. Production results exhibited low accuracy on all Arabic consonants and a marked foreign accent as judged by L1 listeners, with a small positive effect of L2 literacy. We argue that the nature of the interactions between FDH and employers, along with uneven power relations and social distance, counteract any advantage of LoR and the immersion setting examined here. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social and Psychological Factors in Bilingual Speech Production)
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Article
Apocope in Heritage Italian
Languages 2021, 6(3), 120; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages6030120 - 13 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2211
Abstract
Apocope (deletion of word-final vowels) and word-final vowel reduction are hallmarks of southern Italian varieties. To investigate whether heritage speakers reproduce the complex variable patterns of these processes, we analyze spontaneous speech of three generations of heritage Calabrian Italian speakers and a homeland [...] Read more.
Apocope (deletion of word-final vowels) and word-final vowel reduction are hallmarks of southern Italian varieties. To investigate whether heritage speakers reproduce the complex variable patterns of these processes, we analyze spontaneous speech of three generations of heritage Calabrian Italian speakers and a homeland comparator sample. All occurrences (N = 2477) from a list of frequent polysyllabic words are extracted from 25 speakers’ interviews and analyzed via mixed effects models. Tested predictors include: vowel identity, phonological context, clausal position, lexical frequency, word length, gender, generation, ethnic orientation and age. Homeland and heritage speakers exhibit similar distributions of full, reduced and deleted forms, but there are inter-generational differences in the constraints governing the variation. Primarily linguistic factors condition the variation. Homeland variation in reduction shows sensitivity to part of speech, while heritage speakers show sensitivity to segmental context and part of speech. Slightly different factors influence apocope, with suprasegmental factors and part of speech significant for homeland speakers, but only part of speech for heritage speakers. Surprisingly, for such a socially marked feature, few social factors are relevant. Factors influencing reduction and apocope are similar, suggesting the processes are related. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social and Psychological Factors in Bilingual Speech Production)
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Article
The Effect of Dual Language Activation on L2-Induced Changes in L1 Speech within a Code-Switched Paradigm
Languages 2021, 6(3), 114; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages6030114 - 29 Jun 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1572
Abstract
The present study sought to examine the effect of dual language activation on L1 speech in late English–Austrian German sequential bilinguals, and to identify relevant predictor variables. To this end, we compared the English speech patterns of adult migrants to Austria in a [...] Read more.
The present study sought to examine the effect of dual language activation on L1 speech in late English–Austrian German sequential bilinguals, and to identify relevant predictor variables. To this end, we compared the English speech patterns of adult migrants to Austria in a code-switched and monolingual condition alongside those of monolingual native speakers in England in a monolingual condition. In the code-switched materials, German words containing target segments known to trigger cross-linguistic interaction in the two languages (i.e., [v–w], [ʃt(ʁ)-st(ɹ)] and [l-ɫ]) were inserted into an English frame; monolingual materials comprised English words with the same segments. To examine whether the position of the German item affects L1 speech, the segments occurred either before the switch (“He wants a Wienerschnitzel”) or after (“I like Würstel with mustard”). Critical acoustic measures of these segments revealed no differences between the groups in the monolingual condition, but significant L2-induced shifts in the bilinguals’ L1 speech production in the code-switched condition for some sounds. These were found to occur both before and after a code-switch, and exhibited a fair amount of individual variation. Only the amount of L2 use was found to be a significant predictor variable for shift size in code-switched compared with monolingual utterances, and only for [w]. These results have important implications for the role of dual activation in the speech of late sequential bilinguals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social and Psychological Factors in Bilingual Speech Production)
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Article
Foreign-Language Phonetic Development Leads to First-Language Phonetic Drift: Plosive Consonants in Native Portuguese Speakers Learning English as a Foreign Language in Brazil
Languages 2021, 6(3), 112; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages6030112 - 25 Jun 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1886
Abstract
Fifty-six Portuguese speakers born and raised in Brazil produced Portuguese words beginning in one of four plosives, /p b k ɡ/. Twenty-eight of them were monolinguals (controls), and the rest were learners of English as a foreign language (EFL). The learners were also [...] Read more.
Fifty-six Portuguese speakers born and raised in Brazil produced Portuguese words beginning in one of four plosives, /p b k ɡ/. Twenty-eight of them were monolinguals (controls), and the rest were learners of English as a foreign language (EFL). The learners were also asked to produce English words beginning with one of four plosives, /p b k ɡ/. We measured the plosives’ voice onset times (VOT) to address the following research questions: Do foreign-language learners, whose exposure to native English oral input is necessarily limited, form new sound categories specific to their additional language? Does engaging in the learning of a foreign language affect the phonetics of one’s native language? The EFL learners were found to differ from the controls in their production of Portuguese voiced (but not voiceless) plosives—prevoicing was longer in learner speech. The learners displayed different VOT targets for voiced (but not voiceless) consonants as a function of the language they were speaking—prevoicing was longer in Portuguese. In EFL learners’ productions, English sounds appear to be fundamentally modeled on phonologically similar native sounds, but some phonetic development (or reorganization) is found. Phonetic development induced by foreign-language learning may lead to a minor reconfiguration of the phonetics of native language sounds. EFL learners may find it challenging to learn the pronunciation patterns of English, likely due to the reduced access to native oral input. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social and Psychological Factors in Bilingual Speech Production)
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Article
Social Influences on Phonological Transfer: /r/ Variation in the Repertoire of Welsh-English Bilinguals
Languages 2021, 6(2), 97; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages6020097 - 25 May 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1490
Abstract
It is well known that cross-linguistic interactions can exist between the two languages in a bilingual speaker’s repertoire. At the level of phonetics and phonology, this interaction may result in the transfer of a feature from one language to the other or the [...] Read more.
It is well known that cross-linguistic interactions can exist between the two languages in a bilingual speaker’s repertoire. At the level of phonetics and phonology, this interaction may result in the transfer of a feature from one language to the other or the ‘merging’ of phonetic properties between languages. Although there are numerous studies of bilingual speakers which show such interactions, relatively little is known about the nature of transfer in communities of long-term bilingualism. The current study investigates phonological transfer of /r/ in Welsh-English bilinguals’ speech in north Wales. Specifically, it compares the influence of speaker gender, home language, and speech context on the production of /r/ in both English and Welsh in two communities which differ in the extent to which Welsh is spoken as a community language. It is commonly assumed that the alveolar trill [r] and alveolar tap [ɾ] are the variants of /r/ in Welsh. In English, the alveolar approximant [ɹ] is typical across Wales, but the trill and tap are reported in areas where a high proportion of the population speaks Welsh. Data in both languages were collected from 32 Welsh-English bilinguals (aged 16–18) via sociolinguistic interview and wordlist tasks. The sample was stratified equally by speaker gender, home language, and area (predominantly Welsh-speaking vs. predominantly English-speaking). The results show areal differences in the production of /r/ in both languages, which, I argue, could be attributed partly to differing social structures in the communities under investigation. Consequently, the results showed evidence of bi-directional phonological transfer, which is community-specific and influenced by a number of social factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social and Psychological Factors in Bilingual Speech Production)
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Article
Foreign Accent in Pre- and Primary School Heritage Bilinguals
Languages 2021, 6(2), 96; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages6020096 - 24 May 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1757
Abstract
Previous research has shown that the two languages of early bilingual children can influence each other, depending on the linguistic property, while adult bilinguals predominantly show influence from the majority language to the minority (heritage) language. While this observed shift in influence patterns [...] Read more.
Previous research has shown that the two languages of early bilingual children can influence each other, depending on the linguistic property, while adult bilinguals predominantly show influence from the majority language to the minority (heritage) language. While this observed shift in influence patterns is probably related to a shift in dominance between early childhood and adulthood, there is little data documenting it. Our study investigates the perceived global accent in the two languages of German-Russian bilingual children in Germany, comparing 4–6-year-old (preschool) children and 7–9-year-old (primary school) children. The results indicate that in German the older children sound less accented than the younger children, while the opposite is true for Russian. This suggests that the primary school years are a critical period for heritage language maintenance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social and Psychological Factors in Bilingual Speech Production)
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Article
Adult New Speakers of Welsh: Accent, Pronunciation and Language Experience in South Wales
Languages 2021, 6(2), 86; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages6020086 - 13 May 2021
Viewed by 2312
Abstract
This study examines the experiences of adult new speakers of Welsh in Wales, UK with learning pronunciation in Welsh. Questionnaire data were collected from 115 adult L2 speakers with English as an L1 located in South Wales. We investigated self-reported perceptions of accent [...] Read more.
This study examines the experiences of adult new speakers of Welsh in Wales, UK with learning pronunciation in Welsh. Questionnaire data were collected from 115 adult L2 speakers with English as an L1 located in South Wales. We investigated self-reported perceptions of accent and pronunciation as well as exploring which speech sounds were reported to be challenging for the participants. We also asked participants how traditional native speakers responded to them in the community. Perceptions of own accent and pronunciation were not rated highly for the participants. We found that speaker origin affected responses to perceptions of accent and pronunciation, as well as speaker learning level. In terms of speech sounds that are challenging, the results show that vowel length as well as the consonants absent in the L1 (English) were the most common issues reported. A range of responses from traditional native speakers were reported, including speaking more slowly, switching to English, correcting pronunciation or not responding at all. It is suggested that these results indicate that adult new speakers of Welsh face challenges with accent and pronunciation, and we discuss the implications of this for language teaching and for integration into the community. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social and Psychological Factors in Bilingual Speech Production)
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Article
Maternal Cultural Orientation and Speech Sound Production in Spanish/English Dual Language Preschoolers
Languages 2021, 6(2), 78; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages6020078 - 22 Apr 2021
Viewed by 1381
Abstract
Empirical work has shown that maternal education is related to children’s language outcomes, especially in the societal language, among Spanish-English bilingual children growing up in the U.S. However, no study thus far has assessed the links between maternal cultural orientation and children’s speech [...] Read more.
Empirical work has shown that maternal education is related to children’s language outcomes, especially in the societal language, among Spanish-English bilingual children growing up in the U.S. However, no study thus far has assessed the links between maternal cultural orientation and children’s speech sound production. This paper explores whether mothers’ orientation to American (acculturation) and Mexican culture (enculturation) and overall linear acculturation are related to children’s accuracy of production of consonants, of different sound classes, and of phonemes shared and unshared between languages in both English and Spanish at age 4;6 (4 years and 6 months). The results reveal a link between maternal acculturation and children’s segmental accuracy in English, but no relation was found between mothers’ enculturation and children’s speech sound production in Spanish. We interpreted the results in English as suggesting that more American-oriented mothers may have been using more English with their children, boosting their English production abilities and promoting English speech sound development. At the same time, we speculate that the results in Spanish were possibly due to the high and homogeneous levels of Mexican orientation among mothers, to language input differences attributable to distinct cultural practices, or to the status of Spanish as a minority language. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social and Psychological Factors in Bilingual Speech Production)
Article
Longitudinal Developments in Bilingual Second Language Acquisition and First Language Attrition of Speech: The Case of Arnold Schwarzenegger
Languages 2021, 6(2), 61; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages6020061 - 25 Mar 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2796
Abstract
The purpose of this investigation was to trace first (L1) and second language (L2) segmental speech development in the Austrian German–English late bilingual Arnold Schwarzenegger over a period of 40 years, which makes it the first study to examine a bilingual’s speech development [...] Read more.
The purpose of this investigation was to trace first (L1) and second language (L2) segmental speech development in the Austrian German–English late bilingual Arnold Schwarzenegger over a period of 40 years, which makes it the first study to examine a bilingual’s speech development over several decades in both their languages. To this end, acoustic measurements of voice onset time (VOT) durations of word-initial plosives (Study 1) and formant frequencies of the first and second formant of Austrian German and English monophthongs (Study 2) were conducted using speech samples collected from broadcast interviews. The results of Study 1 showed a merging of Schwarzenegger’s German and English voiceless plosives in his late productions as manifested in a significant lengthening of VOT duration in his German plosives, and a shortening of VOT duration in his English plosives, closer to L1 production norms. Similar findings were evidenced in Study 2, revealing that some of Schwarzenegger’s L1 and L2 vowel categories had moved closer together in the course of L2 immersion. These findings suggest that both a bilingual’s first and second language accent is likely to develop and reorganize over time due to dynamic interactions between the first and second language system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social and Psychological Factors in Bilingual Speech Production)
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Article
Sociolinguistic Awareness in Galician Bilinguals: Evidence from an Accent Identification Task
Languages 2021, 6(1), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages6010053 - 18 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2460
Abstract
The inclusion of European minority languages in public spaces such as education, administration and the media has led to the emergence of a new profile of speakers, “new speakers”, who typically acquire a minority language through education, but vary in terms of their [...] Read more.
The inclusion of European minority languages in public spaces such as education, administration and the media has led to the emergence of a new profile of speakers, “new speakers”, who typically acquire a minority language through education, but vary in terms of their language experience and use. The present study investigated whether a distinctive variety spoken by Galician new speakers (neofalantes) has emerged in the community and whether listeners’ language background influences accent identification abilities and patterns. Galician-Spanish bilingual listeners completed an accent identification task and were asked to comment on factors influencing their decision. Results demonstrated that all listeners could identify Galician-dominant better than Spanish-dominant bilinguals but could not identify neofalantes. Neofalantes were categorised as both Spanish- and Galician-dominant, supporting the idea that neofalantes have a hybrid variety. This finding suggests that listeners have a gradient representation of language background variation, with Galician-like and Spanish-like accents functioning as anchors and the neofalantes’ accent situated somewhere in the middle. Identification accuracy was similar for all listeners but neofalantes showed heightened sensitivity to the Galician-dominant variety, suggesting that evaluation of sociophonetic features depends on the listener’s language and social background. These findings contribute to our understanding of sociolinguistic awareness in bilingual contexts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social and Psychological Factors in Bilingual Speech Production)
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