Bilinguals Use Language-Specific Articulatory Settings PurposePrevious work has shown that monolingual French and English speakers use distinct articulatory settings, the underlying articulatory posture of a language. In the present article, the authors report on an experiment in which they investigated articulatory settings in bilingual speakers. The authors first tested the hypothesis that in order to ... Research Article
Research Article  |   April 01, 2014
Bilinguals Use Language-Specific Articulatory Settings
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Ian Wilson
    Center for Language Research, University of Aizu, Japan
  • Bryan Gick
    University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
    Haskins Laboratories, New Haven, CT
  • Disclosure:The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure:The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.×
  • Correspondence to Ian Wilson: wilson@u-aizu.ac.jp
  • Editor: Jody Kreiman
    Editor: Jody Kreiman×
  • Associate Editor: Barbara Dodd
    Associate Editor: Barbara Dodd×
Article Information
Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Speech
Research Article   |   April 01, 2014
Bilinguals Use Language-Specific Articulatory Settings
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2014, Vol. 57, 361-373. doi:10.1044/2013_JSLHR-S-12-0345
History: Received November 3, 2012 , Revised March 19, 2013 , Accepted July 8, 2013
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2014, Vol. 57, 361-373. doi:10.1044/2013_JSLHR-S-12-0345
History: Received November 3, 2012; Revised March 19, 2013; Accepted July 8, 2013
Web of Science® Times Cited: 1

PurposePrevious work has shown that monolingual French and English speakers use distinct articulatory settings, the underlying articulatory posture of a language. In the present article, the authors report on an experiment in which they investigated articulatory settings in bilingual speakers. The authors first tested the hypothesis that in order to sound native-like, bilinguals must use distinct, language-specific articulatory settings in monolingual mode. The authors then tested the hypothesis that in bilingual mode, a bilingual individual's articulatory setting is identical to the monolingual-mode setting of 1 of his or her languages.

MethodEight French–English bilinguals each read 90 English and 90 French sentences, and the authors measured their interspeech posture (ISP) using optical tracking of the lips and jaw and ultrasound imaging of the tongue.

ResultsResults show that bilingual speakers who are perceived as native in both languages exhibit distinct, language-specific ISPs, and those who are not perceived as native in one or more languages do not. In bilingual mode, bilinguals use an ISP that is equivalent to the monolingual-mode ISP of their currently most used language. The most balanced bilingual used a French lip ISP but an English tongue-tip ISP.

ConclusionResults support the claim that bilinguals who sound native in each of their languages have distinct articulatory settings for each language.

Acknowledgments
We thank the following individuals for their assistance: F. Almeida, F. Campbell, J. Chang, A.-M. Comte, R.-M. Déchaine, A. Hannam, R. Kumar, S. Marinova-Todd, M. Mizerski, E. Orpe, J.-F. Plante, D. Pulleyblank, J. Stemberger, E. Vatikiotis-Bateson, the late J. C. Wilson, and F. Xu. This research was funded by a grant to the second author from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.
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