Influences of Phonological Context on Tense Marking in Spanish–English Dual Language Learners Purpose The emergence of tense-morpheme marking during language acquisition is highly variable, which confounds the use of tense marking as a diagnostic indicator of language impairment in linguistically diverse populations. In this study, we seek to better understand tense-marking patterns in young bilingual children by comparing phonological influences on marking ... Research Article
Research Article  |   August 16, 2017
Influences of Phonological Context on Tense Marking in Spanish–English Dual Language Learners
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Philip N. Combiths
    San Diego State University, CA
    University of California, San Diego
  • Jessica A. Barlow
    San Diego State University, CA
  • Irina Potapova
    San Diego State University, CA
    University of California, San Diego
  • Sonja Pruitt-Lord
    San Diego State University, CA
  • 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 Philip N. Combiths: pcombiths@sdsu.edu
  • Editor: Sean Redmond
    Editor: Sean Redmond×
  • Associate Editor: Emma Hayiou-Thomas
    Associate Editor: Emma Hayiou-Thomas×
Article Information
Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   August 16, 2017
Influences of Phonological Context on Tense Marking in Spanish–English Dual Language Learners
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2017, Vol. 60, 2199-2216. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-L-16-0402
History: Received October 19, 2016 , Revised February 3, 2017 , Accepted March 10, 2017
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2017, Vol. 60, 2199-2216. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-L-16-0402
History: Received October 19, 2016; Revised February 3, 2017; Accepted March 10, 2017

Purpose The emergence of tense-morpheme marking during language acquisition is highly variable, which confounds the use of tense marking as a diagnostic indicator of language impairment in linguistically diverse populations. In this study, we seek to better understand tense-marking patterns in young bilingual children by comparing phonological influences on marking of 2 word-final tense morphemes.

Method In spontaneous connected speech samples from 10 Spanish–English dual language learners aged 56–66 months (M = 61.7, SD = 3.4), we examined marking rates of past tense -ed and third person singular -s morphemes in different environments, using multiple measures of phonological context.

Results Both morphemes were found to exhibit notably contrastive marking patterns in some contexts. Each was most sensitive to a different combination of phonological influences in the verb stem and the following word.

Conclusions These findings extend existing evidence from monolingual speakers for the influence of word-final phonological context on morpheme production to a bilingual population. Further, novel findings not yet attested in previous research support an expanded consideration of phonological context in clinical decision making and future research related to word-final morphology.

Acknowledgments
Philip N. Combiths and Irina Potapova were supported by National Institutes of Health Training Grant T32 DC007361. Additional funding was provided by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders RO3 Grant DC012141 and a Price Philanthropies research grant, awarded to Sonja Pruitt-Lord.
The authors would like to thank our young participants and research assistants in the Phonological Typologies Lab and the Child Language Development, Disorders, and Disparities Lab at San Diego State University for their integral role in the completion of this project. We thank Jörg Matt for statistical consultation and Yvan Rose and Greg Hedlund for technical assistance and their role in the development of Phon, as well as attendees of the 2016 International Child Phonology Conference and the 2016 Symposium on Research in Child Language Disorders for valuable feedback on preliminary data. We also thank Sam Engel for contributions to the initial stages of this investigation.
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