Code-Switching in Highly Proficient Spanish/English Bilingual Adults: Impact on Masked Word Recognition Purpose The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of code-switching on Spanish/English bilingual listeners' speech recognition of English and Spanish words in the presence of competing speech-shaped noise. Method Participants were Spanish/English bilingual adults (N = 27) who were highly proficient in both languages. Target ... Research Article
Research Article  |   September 19, 2018
Code-Switching in Highly Proficient Spanish/English Bilingual Adults: Impact on Masked Word Recognition
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Paula B. García
    Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia
    Boys Town National Research Hospital, Omaha, NE
  • Lori Leibold
    Boys Town National Research Hospital, Omaha, NE
  • Emily Buss
    The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Lauren Calandruccio
    Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
  • Barbara Rodriguez
    The University of New Mexico, Albuquerque
  • 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 Paula B. García: pb.garcia@uniandes.edu.co
  • Editor-in-Chief: Frederick (Erick) Gallun
    Editor-in-Chief: Frederick (Erick) Gallun×
  • Editor: Steve Aiken
    Editor: Steve Aiken×
Article Information
Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   September 19, 2018
Code-Switching in Highly Proficient Spanish/English Bilingual Adults: Impact on Masked Word Recognition
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, September 2018, Vol. 61, 2353-2363. doi:10.1044/2018_JSLHR-H-17-0399
History: Received October 26, 2017 , Revised February 15, 2018 , Accepted April 2, 2018
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, September 2018, Vol. 61, 2353-2363. doi:10.1044/2018_JSLHR-H-17-0399
History: Received October 26, 2017; Revised February 15, 2018; Accepted April 2, 2018
Web of Science® Times Cited: 2

Purpose The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of code-switching on Spanish/English bilingual listeners' speech recognition of English and Spanish words in the presence of competing speech-shaped noise.

Method Participants were Spanish/English bilingual adults (N = 27) who were highly proficient in both languages. Target stimuli were English and Spanish words presented in speech-shaped noise at a −14-dB signal-to-noise ratio. There were 4 target conditions: (a) English only, (b) Spanish only, (c) mixed English, and (d) mixed Spanish. In the mixed-English condition, 75% of the words were in English, whereas 25% of the words were in Spanish. The percentages were reversed in the mixed-Spanish condition.

Results Accuracy was poorer for the majority (75%) and minority (25%) languages in both mixed-language conditions compared with the corresponding single-language conditions. Results of a follow-up experiment suggest that this finding cannot be explained in terms of an increase in the number of possible response alternatives for each picture in the mixed-language condition relative to the single-language condition.

Conclusions Results suggest a cost of language mixing on speech perception when bilingual listeners alternate between languages in noisy environments. In addition, the cost of code-switching on speech recognition in noise was similar for both languages in this group of highly proficient Spanish/English bilingual speakers. Differences in response-set size could not account for the poorer results in the mixed-language conditions.

Acknowledgments
This research was funded by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grant R01 DC015056. Participant recruitment was facilitated by the Clinical Measurement Core of Boys Town National Research Hospital, which is supported by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under Award P20GM109023. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.
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