Special Issue "Native Speech Perception in the Context of Multilingualism and Language Learning"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 May 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Olga Dmitrieva
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Linguistics and Department of German and Russian, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47906, USA
Interests: Acoustic phonetics; crosslinguistic speech perception; acquisition of second language speech;
Dr. Chiara Celata
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Dipartimento di Studi Umanistici, Università degli studi di Urbino ‘Carlo Bo’, 61029 Urbino, Italy
Interests: speech production and perception; articulatory phonetics; sociophonetics; bilingualism and heritage language acquisition
Dr. Esther de Leeuw
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Linguistics, Queen Mary University of London, Mile End Road, London E1 4NS, UK
Interests: production, processing, representation, and development of speech sounds in the context of multilingualism and language contact; the cognitive organization of dual sound systems, and the phonetic and phonological interactions which occur during first language attrition and second language acquisition
Dr. Natalia Kartushina
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Center for Multilingualism in Society across the Lifespan, Niels Henrik Abels vei 36, 0313 Oslo, Norway
Interests: speech sound production and perception; L2 phonology; language acquisition; multilingualism; articulatory training; phonetic drift; dialects and variability in speech

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The goal of this Special Issue is to bring together current state-of-the-art research examining the effects of additional language or language variety acquisition and use on native language (i.e., first-acquired language) speech perception, including but not limited to the identification of native sound categories, discrimination of native contrasts, and cue weighting in the perception of native sound distinctions.

Previous research has provided a solid body of work on the effects of second language (L2) learning and multilingualism on first language (L1) speech production (Chang 2012, Colantoni et al. 2020, Cook 2003, de Leeuw and Celata 2019, de Leeuw et al. 2010, de Leeuw et al. 2013, Flege 1987, Harada 2003, Kartushina and Martin 2019, Kartushina et al. 2016, Law et al. 2019, Mayr et al. 2021, Mennen 2004, Nodari et al. 2019, Sancier 1997, and Schmid et al. 2004, among others). The results have indicated that bi-/multilinguals’ native sound production often differs from monolingual norms, frequently demonstrating partial convergence with, and at times divergence from, the comparable sound categories in the additional language(s) spoken by the individuals. These effects have been found for early and late bilinguals, advanced and novice learners, and immersed and home-country-based learners. In this issue, we focus on equivalent effects, but in the perceptual domain.

Initial evidence suggests that multilingual listeners exhibit language-specific patterns in perception, or “language modes” (Antoniou et al. 2012, Gonzales and Lotto 2013, Grosjean 2001). Moreover, first language speech perception can diverge from the monolingual norms due to the effects of additional languages (Chang 2016, Celata and Cancila 2010, Dmitrieva et al. 2020, Dmitrieva 2019, Garcia-Sierra et al. 2009, Law et al. 2019, Llanos et al. 2013). Nevertheless, much remains to be learned about native speech perception in the context of multilingualism, including the following questions:

  • Who is likely to exhibit second/additional language effects on native speech perception?
  • In what context/conditions of language acquisition are such effects more likely to arise?
  • What perceptual domains or perceptual tasks tend to reveal interference from additional languages or language varieties?
  • How do changes in L1 perception and production, driven by the acquisition and/or use of additional languages, connect and interact with each other?
  • What theoretical and cognitive models can explain L2 effects on L1 perception?

We welcome contributions exploring these and other questions relating to first language speech perception using a variety of methodologies and in a variety of multilingual populations, including bi-/multilingual children and adults, adult language learners in immersed and in classroom settings, heritage speakers, bidialectal speakers, and others. We especially encourage submissions examining under-researched languages and dialects and their combinations.

We request that, prior to submitting a manuscript, interested authors initially submit a preliminary title and an abstract of 400–600 words summarizing their intended contribution. Please send this to the corresponding guest editor (Olga Dmitrieva, [email protected]) and to the 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:

Abstract submission deadline: 15 October 2021

Notification of abstract acceptance: 15 November 2021

Full manuscript deadline: 15 May 2022


Antoniou M., Tyler M.D. & Best C. T. (2012). Two ways to listen: Do L2-dominant bilinguals perceive stop voicing according to language mode? Journal of Phonetics, 40(4), 582–594.

Celata C. & Cancila, J. (2010). Phonological attrition and the perception of geminate consonants in the Lucchese community of San Francisco (CA). International Journal of Bilingualism, 14(2), 185-209.

Chang, C.B. 2012. Rapid and multifaceted effects of second-language learning on first-language speech production. Journal of Phonetics, 40, 249–268.

Chang C.B. (2016). Bilingual perceptual benefits of experience with a heritage language. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 19(4), 791-809.

Colantoni L., Martínez R., Mazzaro N., Pérez-Leroux A.T. & Rinaldi N. (2020). A Phonetic Account of Spanish-English Bilinguals’ Divergence with Agreement. Languages5(4), 58.

Cook V. (2003). The changing L1 in the L2 user's mind. In: Vivian Cook (ed.), Effects of the Second Language on the First (pp. 1–18). Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.

de Leeuw E., Opitz C. & Lubińska, D. (2013). The Dynamics of First Language Attrition across the Lifespan. International Journal of Bilingualism, 17(6), 667-674.

de Leeuw E., Schmid M. & Mennen I. (2010). The effects of contact on native language pronunciation in an L2 migrant context. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 13, 33-40.

de Leeuw E., Celata C. (2019). Plasticity of native phonetic and phonological domains in the context of bilingualism. Journal of Phonetics, 75, 88-93.

Dmitrieva O. (2019) Transferring perceptual cue-weighting from second language into first language: Cues to voicing in Russian speakers of English. Journal of Phonetics, 73, 128-143.

Dmitrieva O., Jongman A. & Sereno J.A. (2020). The Effect of Instructed Second Language Learning on the Acoustic Properties of First Language Speech. Languages, 5(4), 44.

Flege, James E. 1987. The production of ‘new’ and ‘similar’ phones in a foreign Language: evidence for the effect of equivalence classification. Journal of Phonetics, 15, 47–65.

Garcia-Sierra, A., Diehl, R. L., & Champlin, C. (2009). Testing the double phonemic boundary in bilinguals. Speech Communication, 51(4), 369–378.

Gonzales, K., & Lotto, A. J. (2013). A Bafri, un Pafri: Bilinguals’ pseudoword identifications support language-specific phonetic systems. Psychological Science, 24(11), 2135–2142.

Grosjean F. (2001) The bilingual’s language modes. In: Nicol J. (Ed.), One mind, two languages: Bilingual language processing. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing: 1–22.

Harada T. (2003). L2 influence on L1 speech in the production of VOT. In M.-J. Solé, D. Recasens & J. Romero (Eds.), Proceedings of the 15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences Barcelona, Spain: Causal Productions, 1085–1088.

Kartushina N., Rosslund A. & Mayor J. (accepted). Toddlers raised in multi-dialectal families learn words better in accented speech than those raised in monodialectal families. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology.

Kartushina N. & Martin C.D. (2019). Third-language learning affects bilinguals’ production in both their native languages: A longitudinal study of dynamic changes in L1, L2 and L3 vowel production. Journal of Phonetics, 77, 1-21.

Kartushina N., Hervais-Adelman A., Frauenfelder U.H. & Golestani N. (2016). Mutual influences between native and non-native vowels in production: Evidence from short-term visual articulatory feedback training. Journal of Phonetics, 57, 21–39.

Law W.L., Dmitrieva O., Francis A.L. (2019). Language attitudes modulate phonetic interactions between languages in bilingual speakers in diglossic settings. Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism.

Llanos F., Dmitrieva O., Francis A., Shultz A. (2013). Auditory enhancement and second language experience in Spanish and English weighting of secondary voicing cues. JASA, 134 (3), 2213-2224.

Mayr R., Sánchez D. & Mennen I. (2020). Does Teaching Your Native Language Abroad Increase L1 Attrition of Speech? The Case of Spaniards in the United Kingdom. Languages, 5(4), 41.

Mennen, I. (2004). Bi-directional interference in the intonation of Dutch speakers of Greek. Journal of Phonetics, 32, 543-563.

Nodari R., Celata C., Nagy N. (2019). Socio-indexical phonetic features in the heritage language context: voiceless stop aspiration in the Calabrian community in Toronto. Journal of Phonetics, 73, 91-112.

Sancier M.L. & Fowler C.A. (1997). Gestural drift in a bilingual speaker of Brazilian Portuguese and English. Journal of Phonetics, 25(4), 421-436.

Schmid M.S., Köpke B., Keijzer M. & Weilemar L. (2004). First Language Attrition: interdisciplinary perspectives on methodological issues. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

Dr. Olga Dmitrieva
Dr. Chiara Celata
Dr. Esther de Leeuw
Dr. Natalia Kartushina
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 papers will be 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 1200 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.


  • speech perception
  • speech processing
  • bilingualism
  • multilingualism
  • second/third language acquisition
  • heritage languages
  • language contact
  • first language attrition
  • first language drift
  • plasticity
  • dialects

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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