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ERIC Number: EJ853184
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Pages: 26
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 38
ISSN: ISSN-1550-7076
Vowel Production in the Speech of Western Armenian Heritage Speakers
Godson, Linda
Heritage Language Journal, v2 n1 Fall 2004
This study investigates whether the age at which English becomes dominant for Western Armenian bilinguals in the United States affects their vowel production in Western Armenian. Participating in the study were ten Western-Armenian bilinguals who learned English before age 8, ten bilinguals who did not learn English until adulthood, and one Western Armenian monolingual. Vowel production was measured using recordings from oral reading of a list of sentences. Results showed that English affects the Western Armenian vowel system but only for those vowels that are already close to English. This bifurcation of vowel behavior indicates that a single across-the-board principle that governs the influence of a dominant language on a minority language is too general. Other forces such as universal tendencies, normal diachronic change, and sociolinguistic pressures must be considered. In addition, even though the influence of English was stronger for those exposed to English as children than for those exposed as adults, the latter group showed significant changes in the direction of English. This means that the effects of the dominant language extend over a lifetime. (Contains 9 tables and 1 figure.)
National Heritage Language Resource Center and UC Consortium for Language Learning & Teaching. 1333 Rolfe Hall, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1411. Tel: 310-825-1138; Fax: 310-206-5183; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Armenia; California