Phonological Acquisition in Bilingual Spanish–English Speaking Children PurposeIn this study, the authors aimed to determine how between-language interaction contributes to phonological acquisition in bilingual Spanish–English speaking children.MethodA total of 24 typically developing children, ages 3;0 (years;months) to 4;0, were included in this study: 8 bilingual Spanish–English speaking children, 8 monolingual Spanish speakers, and 8 monolingual English speakers. ... Article
Article  |   February 01, 2010
Phonological Acquisition in Bilingual Spanish–English Speaking Children
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Leah Fabiano-Smith
    State University of New York at New Paltz
  • Brian A. Goldstein
    Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
  • Contact author: Leah Fabiano-Smith, State University of New York at New Paltz, Department of Communication Disorders, 1 Hawk Drive, New Paltz, NY 12561-2440. E-mail: fabianol@newpaltz.edu.
Article Information
Special Populations / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Language
Article   |   February 01, 2010
Phonological Acquisition in Bilingual Spanish–English Speaking Children
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2010, Vol. 53, 160-178. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2009/07-0064)
History: Received March 14, 2007 , Revised August 13, 2007 , Accepted May 13, 2009
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2010, Vol. 53, 160-178. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2009/07-0064)
History: Received March 14, 2007; Revised August 13, 2007; Accepted May 13, 2009
Web of Science® Times Cited: 41

PurposeIn this study, the authors aimed to determine how between-language interaction contributes to phonological acquisition in bilingual Spanish–English speaking children.

MethodA total of 24 typically developing children, ages 3;0 (years;months) to 4;0, were included in this study: 8 bilingual Spanish–English speaking children, 8 monolingual Spanish speakers, and 8 monolingual English speakers. Single word and connected speech samples were obtained for each child. This study examined interaction between the two languages of bilingual children during phonological acquisition through the measurement of (a) transfer (the frequency and types of phonological transfer present in the speech of bilingual children); (b) deceleration (a slower rate of acquisition for bilinguals as compared with monolinguals); and (c) acceleration (a faster rate of acquisition for bilinguals as compared with monolinguals.

ResultsFindings demonstrated that (a) transfer was evident in the productions of bilingual children, (b) differences were found in accuracy between monolingual and bilingual children, and (c) sound frequency did not predict differential accuracy of either phonetically similar sounds between languages or phonetically dissimilar sounds specific to Spanish or English.

ImplicationsThe results from this study indicate that transfer, deceleration, and a possible variation of the acceleration hypothesis occur in bilingual phonological acquisition. Evidence was found for separation and interaction between the bilingual children’s 2 languages (J. Paradis & F. Genesee, 1996).

Acknowledgments
We would like to express our gratitude to the children and families who participated in this project, both in the United States and Mexico. We thank Ferenc Bunta for assistance in the selection of recording equipment; Alexandra Hanlon for consultation on statistical analyses; and Jessica Barlow, Sonja Pruitt, Skott Freedman, Aquiles Iglesias, Megan Dunn Davison, and Raúl Rojas for comments on earlier versions of the article. We express deep appreciation to Donna Jackson Maldonado, Rosa Patricia Bárcenas Acosta, and Martha Beatríz Soto Martínez at the Universidad Autónoma de Querétaro in Mexico for their many efforts in the attainment of monolingual participants. Finally, we thank the following students who performed phonetic and orthographic transcription of the data and participated in analyses of reliability: Jenny Lange, Monica Krewson, Vanessa González, Andrea Fisher, and Roxanna Palma.
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