15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-15)

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003


Native- and Second-Language Interaction in Early and Late Bilinguals: The Effect of Cross-Language Similarity

Wendy Baker (1), Pavel Trofimovich (2)

(1) Brigham Young University, USA
(2) Concordia University, Canada

The present study examined the interaction between bilinguals' native (L1) and second (L2) languages as a function of the perceived similarity between L1 and L2 segments. Two hypotheses were proposed. The first hypothesis was that segments that are "similar" in the L1 and L2 would influence each other (and would thus "interact") to a greater extent than those that are "dissimilar" in the L1 and L2. The second hypothesis was that the extent to which similar and dissimilar L1 and L2 segments interact would also depend upon bilinguals' age at the time of L2 learning. Results provided support for both of these hypotheses. The findings of the present study thus provide insights into the dynamic and often complex nature of the interaction between L1 and L2 phonetic systems.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Baker, Wendy / Trofimovich, Pavel (2003): "Native- and second-language interaction in early and late bilinguals: the effect of cross-language similarity", In ICPhS-15, 2301-2304.