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ERIC Number: EJ845731
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Aug
Pages: 26
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0010-0285
Vowel Categorization during Word Recognition in Bilingual Toddlers
Ramon-Casas, Marta; Swingley, Daniel; Sebastian-Galles, Nuria; Bosch, Laura
Cognitive Psychology, v59 n1 p96-121 Aug 2009
Toddlers' and preschoolers' knowledge of the phonological forms of words was tested in Spanish-learning, Catalan-learning, and bilingual children. These populations are of particular interest because of differences in the Spanish and Catalan vowel systems: Catalan has two vowels in a phonetic region where Spanish has only one. The proximity of the Spanish vowel to the Catalan ones might pose special learning problems. Children were shown picture pairs; the target picture's name was spoken correctly, or a vowel in the target word was altered. Altered vowels either contrasted with the usual vowel in Spanish and Catalan, or only in Catalan. Children's looking to the target picture was used as a measure of word recognition. Monolinguals' word recognition was hindered by within-language, but not non-native, vowel changes. Surprisingly, bilingual toddlers did not show sensitivity to changes in vowels contrastive only in Catalan. Among preschoolers, Catalan-dominant bilinguals but not Spanish-dominant bilinguals revealed mispronunciation sensitivity for the Catalan-only contrast. These studies reveal monolingual children's robust knowledge of native-language vowel categories in words, and show that bilingual children whose two languages contain phonetically overlapping vowel categories may not treat those categories as separate in language comprehension. (Contains 5 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A