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Asymmetries in phonological development: the case of word-final cluster acquisition in Welsh-English bilingual children

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journal contribution
posted on 07.04.2022, 16:30 authored by Robert Mayr, Gwennan Howells, Rhonwen Lewis

 This study provides the first systematic account of word-final cluster acquisition in bilingual children. To this end, 40 Welsh-English bilingual children differing in language dominance and age (2;6 to 5;0) participated in a picture-naming task in English and Welsh. The results revealed significant age and dominance effects on cluster acquisition, with greater overall accuracy on the English clusters. Interestingly, although the Welsh-dominant children outperformed the English-dominant ones on the Welsh clusters, they did not exhibit a concomitant lag on the English clusters. It is argued that this asymmetry is a direct reflection of the sociolinguistic situation in Wales with English as the majority language and Welsh the minority language. The study also revealed accelerated rates of acquisition for English clusters compared with age-matched monolinguals reported elsewhere (Templin, 1957), thereby supporting claims that bilingual contexts may have a facilitative effect on phonological acquisition (Goldstein & Bunta, 2012; Grech & Dodd, 2008). 

History

Published in

Journal of Child Language

Publisher

Cambridge University Press

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Citation

Mayr, R., Howells, G. and Lewis, R. (2015) 'Asymmetries in phonological development: the case of word-final cluster acquisition in Welsh–English bilingual children', Journal of Child Language, 42 (1), pp. 146-179

Print ISSN

0305-0009

Cardiff Met Affiliation

Cardiff School of Sport and Health Sciences

Cardiff Met Authors

Robert Mayr

Cardiff Met Research Centre/Group

  • Speech, Hearing and Communication

Copyright Holder

© The Publisher

Language

en

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