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Unexpected effects of the second language on the first

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... Among these studies, two opposite processes have been observed: dissimilatory processes and assimilatory processes. A dissimilatory process takes place when a new phonetic category in L2 has been established and speakers shift a phonetically similar L1 sound away from the L2 sound to make a contrast between the two sounds (Guion, 2003;Mack, 1990;Oh et al., 2011;Yusa et al., 2010). Guion (2003) found that Quichua (L1) vowels systematically raised and moved away from the similar L2 (Spanish) vowels in Quichua-Spanish bilinguals who had developed distinct vowel categories for the L2. ...
... Regarding the mechanisms of phonetic movement adopted by these bilingual children, unlike previous studies that revealed the deviation of L1 sounds from similar L2 sounds (e.g. Yusa et al., 2010) or both assimilatory and dissimilatory processes in young bilingual children (Lee & Iverson, 2012;Oh et al., 2011), the present study provides evidence in favor of the assimilatory movement for both L1 and L2 sounds. As to the assimilatory movement of L2 sounds to L1 sounds, consistent with previous studies which found adaptive usage of native phonetic features in building the L2 sound system in adult L2 learners (e.g. ...
Article
This study examined the influence of L1 (Mandarin)–L2 (English) interactions on the organization of vowel systems and fine-grained spectral features of vowel productions in young bilingual Mandarin-English children. The participants included 39 children (15 bilinguals, 15 Mandarin monolinguals, and 9 English monolinguals) at 5–6 years of age. The bilingual children were divided into Bi-low (at the early stage of English learning with low proficiency in English) and Bi-high (highly proficient in English) groups. Each participant was recorded producing one set of Mandarin words containing /a, i, u, y, ɤ/ and/or one set of English words containing /i, ɪ, e, ɛ, æ, u, ʊ, o, ɑ, ʌ/. Formant frequencies at five temporal locations were measured. Both static (midpoint formant values) and dynamic (formant movement pattern, trajectory length) acoustic properties were examined. Bi-low children showed a strong effect of L1 on L2. The L1 features were maintained and transferred to the new phonetic system. Bi-high children produced L2 vowels in a near-native manner. Meanwhile, they tended to transfer some L2 features to their L1 and moved the L1 vowels closer to L2 vowels, which suggested an assimilatory process. Both static and dynamic spectral features were affected by L1–L2 interactions.
... L2 influence on L1 VOT was also found in early Japanese-English bilinguals (Harada, 2003), late Korean-English bilinguals (Kang & Guion, 2006), and late English-Spanish bilinguals (Lord, 2008). Sometimes the VOT drift is dissimilatory, rather than assimilatory, although this effect is generally found in individuals with early L2 exposure (e.g., Mack, 1990;Yusa et al., 2010). In the latter study, the occurrence of dissimilatory VOT drift in Japanese children with little English experience was taken as evidence that ''L2 affects the phonetic production of L1 even when users are not proficient'' (Yusa et al., 2010, p. 583). ...
... Although Yusa et al. (2010) showed that children with relatively little L2 experience may also show signs of phonetic drift, these findings are ambiguous since children also have relatively little L1 experience; hence, phonetic drift here could be attributed to underdeveloped L1 representations that are still maturing. Phonetic changes in the L1 of child bilinguals can, moreover, often be explained in terms of normal L1 development, rather than crosslinguistic influence from the L2 (Khattab, 2000). ...
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Despite abundant evidence of malleability in speech production, previous studies of the effects of late second-language learning on first-language speech production have been limited to advanced learners. This study examined these effects in novice learners, adult native English speakers enrolled in elementary Korean classes. In two acoustic studies, learners' production of English was found to be influenced by even brief experience with Korean. The effect was consistently one of assimilation to phonetic properties of Korean; moreover, it occurred at segmental, subsegmental, and global levels, often simultaneously. Taken together, the results suggest that cross-language linkages are established from the onset of second-language learning at multiple levels of phonological structure, allowing for pervasive influence of second-language experience on first-language representations. The findings are discussed with respect to current notions of cross-linguistic similarity, language development, and historical sound change.
... The authors conclude that the degree of a difference between L1 phones and L2 phones is not sufficient for predicting automatic drift effects. Yusa et al. (2010) investigated the voiceless stop productions of Japanese children (N=107) at their early stages of learning English (i.e. at the age of 4, when children are first exposed to English classes at pre-school). The participants were subdivided into three distinct groups on the basis of the amount of English instruction they were receiving at the time. ...
Thesis
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The effects that one’s native language can exert on the pronunciation in one’s second language have been studied quite thoroughly. The opposite, however, that is the influence that one’s second language may have on the native productions has only been brought to the forefront of attention in the last decade or so, beginning with a series of studies authored by Charles Chang (2010 et seq.). He coined the term phonetic drift to refer to short-term changes in the pronunciation of one’s native language resulting from recent exposure to a new language. Ever since then, more and more language pairs have been investigated, with the purpose of learning which acoustic parameters, and to what extent, are subject to drift. Overall, while the phonetic data have been de-scribed, not many authors have attempted to couch their research in theoretical discussions. Phonological frameworks should, after all, be able to predict the possible drift effects. The present thesis aims to fill this niche. Aside from the experimental part, which describes the effects of intensive phonetic training in L2 English of L1 Polish university students, it describes some of the major phonological theories, with particular focus placed on whether or not they provide any predictions about the degree of phonetic drift that we may expect to find in the speakers’ Polish productions. The starting point is the principle of equivalence classification purported by the Speech Learning Model (Flege 1995), which assumes that the source of bi-directional interaction between two languages is which categories the learners deem as equivalent in the particular language pair. The phonetic experiment investigated the initial stop consonant (both voiced and voiceless) and vowel productions in #CV sequences in the speech of L1 Polish learners of L2 English in both real and apparent time and in two different tasks: word reading and sentence reading. The data obtained from the bilinguals were compared with a control group of functional Polish monolinguals. The results indicate that, in-deed, phonetic drift is attested in the productions of this population. In the case of L1 stop consonants, the voiceless category remained relatively unaffected, whereas the voiced series seemed susceptible to the non-native influence. When compared with the students’ L2 data, a new category for the English voiceless stops appeared to have been formed and was kept separate from the L1 Polish voiceless category. On the contrary, the voiced series in both languages seemed to have been classified as equivalent and as a result displayed a great deal of cross-linguistic interaction. In the case of L1 vowels, we observed a phonetic space expansion, with the L1 targets moving to more peripheral positions in the vowel space. These results appeared to replicated the findings obtained by the authors concerned with other language pairs. Upon theoretical reflection, the asymmetry in the behaviour of L1 stop consonants and the expansion of the vowel space was accounted for by only one of the phonological frameworks, that is Onset Prominence (Schwartz 2016 et seq.). Not only does this representational environment predict the be degree of drift, but it also allows us to formally predict what happens at the further stages of phonetic drift, that is phonetic attrition.
... Similar results were reported in Major (1992Major ( , 1996, Chang (2019), and Kang and Guion (2006). Dissimilatory changes in L1, leading to divergence from L2 have also been reported (Mack, 1990;Yusa, Nasukawa, Koizumi, Kim, Kimura & Emura, 2010). The role of language attitudes in these L2 to L1 phonetic effects is yet to be explored. ...
Article
Bilinguals’ attitudes toward their languages can be a major source of linguistic variability. However, the effect of attitudes on crosslinguistic phonetic interactions in bilinguals remains largely unexplored. This study investigated the possibility of such effects in Cantonese-English bilinguals in Hong Kong ( n = 26). Participants produced near-homophones in each language on separate days. Formant values of Cantonese [ɐ] and English [ʌ] and degrees of diphthongization of Cantonese [o] and [ai], and English [oʊ] and [ai], were analyzed as a function of language proficiency, use, and language attitude scores drawn from a background questionnaire. Participants’ attitudes toward Cantonese were predictive of the acoustic difference between similar Cantonese and Hong Kong English (HKE) vowels: More Cantonese-oriented speakers produced greater acoustic distance between crosslinguistically similar vowels. No effects of English attitudes, proficiency, or use were found. These results demonstrate that bilinguals’ attitude toward their native language can affect the degree of phonetic similarity between the two languages they speak.
Article
Purpose The interconnectedness of phonological categories between the two languages of early bilinguals has previously been explored using single-probe speech production and perception data. Our goal was to tap into bilingual phonological representations in another way, namely via monitoring instances of phonetic drift due to changes in language exposure. Design We report a case study of two teenage English–Czech simultaneous bilinguals who live in Canada and spend summers in Czechia (Czech Republic). Voice onset time (VOT) of word-initial voiced and voiceless stops was measured upon the bilinguals’ arrival to and before their departure from a two-month stay in Czechia. Data and Analysis Each bilingual read the same set of 71 Czech and 58 English stop-initial target words (and additional fillers) at each time of measurement. The measured VOT values were submitted to linear mixed effects models, assessing the effects of target language, measurement time, and underlying voicing. Findings/Conclusions After the immersion in a Czech-speaking environment, for both speakers the count of voiced stops realized as prevoiced (i.e., having negative VOT) increased and the measured VOT of voiced stops (appearing different for English and Czech initially) drifted towards more negative (more Czech-like) values in both languages, while no change was detected for the voiceless stops of either English (aspirated) or Czech (unaspirated). The results suggest that the bilinguals maintain three-way VOT distinctions, differentiating voiceless aspirated (English), voiceless unaspirated (Czech), and voiced (English–Czech) stops, with connected bilingual representations of the voiced categories. Originality Data on phonetic drift in simultaneous bilinguals proficient in their two languages have not previously been published. Significance/Implications We show that observing phonetic shifts due to changes in the ambient linguistic environment can be revealing about the organization of phonological space in simultaneous bilinguals.
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This article reports a study on the impact of L2 Korean on L1 Chinese lexical diversity and grammar in written expressions by Chinese bilinguals proficient in Korean. The statistical analysis showed that the cross-linguistic effects of L2 on L1 were significant although such impact was bidirectional. There were significantly more grammar errors and longer retrieval time committed by the bilingual group which implied negative L2 transfer to L1. Meanwhile, L2 also showed a positive influence on lexical diversity as there was no decline in lexical richness but an increase in lexical variations, and this indicated that L2-induced patterns did not replace or deteriorate L1 but instead added additional options to L1 expressions. This phenomenon can be characterized as the addition of new concepts and linguistic options to the already-existing L1 and conceptual repertoire. Specifically, meta-linguistic competence was enhanced. This research supports the theory of interference on L1 by the use of L2 (negative transfer), but it could also be enhanced by L2 (positive transfer).
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Previous studies on the effect of L2 experience on L1 acquisition mostly focused on the segmental level without taking into consideration phonological processes. In particular, whether learners' different L1 and L2 learning experience affects their acquisition of L1 phonological processes has not been much explored. This study investigated the impact of different L1 Korean-L2 English learning experience in the acquisition of L1 phonological processes (t-palatalization and h-merger) among three groups of Korean children (mean age: 9): 20 Korean monolingual, 21 Returnee and 19 ESL children. In production the children read orthographically presented stimuli embedded in sentences. In perception both standard (target-appropriate) and spelling-based non-standard variant (target-inappropriate) pronunciations of target words were aurally presented in sentential contexts and the children judged the target appropriateness. The results of the production and perception tests indicated the effect of different L1 and L2 learning experience in the acquisition of L1 phonological processes due to the monolingual and Returnee children significantly outperforming the ESL children either in production or in perception. However, the Returnees outperformed the monolingual children on h-merger in perception, which may partly be accounted for by the Returnees' bilingual benefits and re-exposure to their L1. An asymmetry between t-palatalization and h-merger was also found as all the children performed significantly better on h-merger than on t-palatalization. The asymmetry between the two phonological processes was accounted for in terms of variation and the intrinsic nature of the phonological processes.
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La question des effets de l’âge sur l’apprentissage des langues possède des implications potentielles dans de nombreux contextes : pour la recherche, pour les politiques linguistiques nationales et internationales, mais aussi dans le contexte familial et bien entendu scolaire, en particulier dans le cadre de l’implémentation d’un enseignement « précoce » des langues étrangères. En raison de cette transversalité, il arrive que certaines incompréhensions entre les différents acteurs concernés amènent à des débats parfois houleux sur l’âge défini comme idéal pour débuter l’enseignement des langues à l’école. Ainsi, si les enfants sont généralement considérés comme de meilleurs apprenants de langues, sur le long terme et en contexte naturel, la question de l’âge est souvent confondue avec la notion de période critique pour l’apprentissage des langues (maternelles et étrangères). Il est de ce fait important de noter que l’hypothèse d’une période critique, bien que se situant en filigrane de nombreuses études et discussions, n'est pas le seul facteur explicatif des différences observées entre apprenants tardifs et précoces, que ce soit en termes d’avantages ou de désavantages de ces derniers, et que les résultats empiriques tendent par ailleurs de plus en plus à infirmer son existence. En raison de ce fait, nous avons choisi d’exposer dans cet état des lieux de la recherche quelques-unes des principales notions et théories visant à expliquer les différences potentielles entre enfants et adultes en ce qui concerne l’apprentissage des langues étrangères et secondes. Nous exposons ainsi les hypothèses maturationnelles telle que l’hypothèse de la période critique, mais aussi d’autres hypothèses, par exemple liées aux transferts entre L1 et Lx. Nous nous penchons ensuite sur les études empiriques. Afin de comprendre les résultats de ces études sur le facteur de l’âge dans l’apprentissage des langues, il est nécessaire de prêter attention à ce qui a été véritablement évalué et investigué par ces dernières en prenant garde de bien différencier deux mesures souvent confondues (et participant de ce fait à certaines incompréhensions quant aux liens entre âge et apprentissage des langues). De fait, il existe deux principales mesures des effets de l’âge sur l’apprentissage : la première consiste à comparer le niveau maximum de compétence atteint en langue seconde/étrangère (en anglais : ultimate attainment), tandis que la deuxième mesure la vitesse avec laquelle un individu apprend une langue seconde/étrangère (en anglais : rate of acquisition). Différencier ces deux types d’études est fondamental car les résultats de chacune d’entre elles sont relativement différents : En effet, plusieurs études ont montré que les enfants plus âgés ainsi que les adultes apprennent des langues secondes/étrangères (ou des structures spécifiques de celle-ci) plus rapidement que les enfants plus jeunes, mais qu’ils atteignent en général un niveau de compétence final moins élevé, pour le moins en contexte naturel. Dans cette revue de la littérature, nous mettons aussi en évidence le fait que, quelle que soit leur position théorique, les chercheurs ayant pour but de mettre au jour les effets de l’âge sur l’apprentissage des langues secondes ou étrangères se voient confrontés au fait qu’il est très difficile de séparer les effets de l’âge d’autres facteurs colinéaires, comme par exemple le temps passé dans la région où la langue-cible est parlée, le nombre d’années d’instruction de la langue-cible, ou la quantité et la qualité de l’input langagier. Par exemple, en ce qui concerne l’input, non seulement la quantité de celui-ci est connu pour être prédictif du résultat de l’apprentissage, et ce, quel que soit l’âge, mais sa qualité exerce aussi une influence et pourrait être explicative des différences entre enfants et adultes. Ceci est particulièrement le cas dans les études portant sur les migrants car, dans les conditions de migration, les enfants sont souvent confrontés à un input de meilleure qualité et plus diversifié en termes de contextes sociaux que leurs parents. Cet input plus riche et plus diversifié pourrait aussi expliquer pourquoi les enfants migrants sont en général plus motivés à apprendre la langue-cible – et par conséquent obtiennent de meilleurs résultats sur le long terme. Il est à noter que les enfants migrants sont aussi souvent scolarisés en langue-cible, et sont donc confrontés à la forme écrite de manière plus régulière que leurs parents et frères et sœurs plus âgés. Ces différents facteurs, ainsi que d’autres comme l’éducation, certaines variables sociales et psychologiques et de nombreuses autres caractéristiques individuelles, ont souvent été confondus avec des effets d’âge, ce qui rend les prises de position souvent difficiles (et peut-être aussi parfois inutiles). En outre, il est important de noter que lorsque l’on compare des groupes ayant commencé l’apprentissage des langues a des âges différents, leur âge au moment du test est lui aussi différent, ce qui rend la comparaison directe des niveaux de compétences difficile méthodologiquement. Les effets de l’âge sur l’apprentissage des langues étrangères sont par ailleurs connus pour être plus saillants dans certains domaines linguistiques que dans d’autres - en particulier les aspects phonologiques semblent être particulièrement difficiles à acquérir, en comparaison par exemple au lexique ou à la pragmatique. Ces différences doivent être tenues en compte afin d’éviter le risque de surestimation de résultats d’études et de transposition d’effets de l’âge concernant un domaine linguistique à d’autres domaines ou à l’apprentissage L2 en général, raison pour laquelle nous présentons les résultats de recherche en fonction du domaine linguistique investigué. Un autre écueil des questions autour de l’âge et des apprentissages concerne la transposition de résultats d’études en contexte naturel (principalement migratoire) à l’enseignement formel en classe. Il est en effet important de noter que l'hypothèse de la période critique, ainsi que d’autres hypothèses maturationnelles connexes, a été initialement formulée et testée empiriquement en rapport avec l’acquisition non-guidée des langues (maternelles et secondes), et donc ne peut être directement transposée au contexte scolaire. Les résultats d’études menées dans des contextes non-guidés ne peuvent en effet pas être considérés comme prédictives des résultats en situations d’apprentissage guidé, entre autres en raison du fait que la qualité et la richesse de l’input ne sera jamais équivalente entre les deux contextes. En ce qui concerne notre état des lieux de la recherche, notre focus porte sur les effets de l’âge en lien avec l’apprentissage des langues en contexte scolaire. Pour ce faire, nous avons choisi de nous pencher de la manière la plus précise possible sur les résultats d’études menées en contexte scolaire pour mettre au jour les avantages et désavantages respectifs, en terme de vitesse d’apprentissage et de niveau maximal atteint, d’un enseignement précoce ou plus tardif des langues étrangères à l’école. Les autres études en contexte naturel, souvent citées - à tort - dans les débats autour de l’âge idéal pour une implémentation des langues étrangères à l’école, sont quant à elle mentionnées lorsqu’elles permettent une clarification des résultats obtenus en contexte scolaire.
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A cogent, freshly written synthesis of new and classic work on crosslinguistic influence, or language transfer, this book is an authoritative account of transfer in second-language learning and its consequences for language and thought. It covers transfer in both production and comprehension, and discusses the distinction between semantic and conceptual transfer, lateral transfer, and reverse transfer. The book is ideal as a text for upper-level undergraduate and graduate courses in bilingualism, second language acquisition, psycholinguistics, and cognitive psychology, and will also be of interest to researchers in these areas.
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Based on the cross-linguistic tendency that weak vowels are realized with a central quality such as ə, ɨ, or ɯ, this paper attempts to account for this choice by proposing that the nucleus itself is one of the three monovalent vowel elements |A|, |I| and |U| which function as the building blocks of melodic structure. I claim that individual languages make a parametric choice to determine which of the three elements functions as the head of a nuclear expression. In addition, I show that elements can be freely concatenated to create melodic compounds. The resulting phonetic value of an element compound is determined by the specific elements it contains and by the head-dependency relations between those elements. This concatenation-based recursive mechanism of melodic structure can also be extended to levels above the segment, thus ultimately eliminating the need for syllabic constituents. This approach reinterprets the notion of minimalism in phonology by opposing the string-based flat structure.
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In the pursuit of a strictly monostratal model of phonology, syllable/prosodic structure is fully specified in lexical representations. Accordingly, information relating to the linear order of segments is redundant in representations: dependency relations holding between syllabic categories are sufficient to account for phonological phenomena. This paper therefore investigates the possibility of omitting from phonological representations all precedence relations between units, which would allow positional precedence to be viewed merely as a by-product of phonetic interpretation relevant to the sensorimotor systems. As such, the division between phonology and its external systems would parallel the division between syntax and performance systems.
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This book looks at changes in the first language of people who know a second language, thus seeing L2 users as people in their own right differing from the monolingual in both first and second languages. It presents theories and research that investigate the first language of second language users from a variety of perspectives including vocabulary, pragmatics, cognition, and syntax and using a variety of linguistic and psychological models. © 2003 Vivian Cook and the authors of individual chapters. All rights reserved.
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Latency to monitor for a designated initial phoneme in a sentence has been used to index momentary processing during comprehension, primarily in the study of lexically ambiguous sentences. Two experiments are reported which demonstrate that latencies are strongly affected by two properties of the word immediately preceding the target phoneme—its length and the phonological similarity of its initial phoneme to the target phoneme. Analysis of the materials used by three other phoneme monitoring studies dealing with lexical ambiguity revealed that these properties were confounded with the studies' ambiguity conditions, biasing for longer detection latencies in ambiguous Sentences. The results are discussed with respect to their implications for ambiguity research and speech perception in general.
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In two experiments Dutch–English bilinguals were tested with English words varying in their degree of orthographic, phonological, and semantic overlap with Dutch words. Thus, an English word target could be spelled the same as a Dutch word and/or could be a near-homophone of a Dutch word. Whether such form similarity was accompanied with semantic identity (translation equivalence) was also varied. In a progressive demasking task and a visual lexical decision task very similar results were obtained. Both tasks showed facilitatory effects of cross-linguistic orthographic and semantic similarity on response latencies to target words, but inhibitory effects of phonological overlap. A third control experiment involving English lexical decision with monolinguals indicated that these results were not due to specific characteristics of the stimulus material. The results are interpreted within an interactive activation model for monolingual and bilingual word recognition (the Bilingual Interactive Activation model) expanded with a phonological and a semantic component.