A Bafri, un Pafri: Bilinguals' Pseudoword Identifications Support Language-Specific Phonetic Systems

Kalim Gonzales, Andrew J. Lotto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Scopus citations

Abstract

Bilinguals perceptually accommodate speech variation across languages, but to what extent this flexibility depends on bilingual experience is uncertain. One account suggests that bilingual experience promotes language-specific processing modes, implying that bilinguals can switch as appropriate between the different phonetic systems of the languages they speak. Another account suggests that bilinguals rapidly recalibrate to the unique acoustic properties of each language following language-general processes common to monolinguals. Challenging this latter account, the present results show that Spanish-English bilinguals with exposure to both languages from early childhood, but not English monolinguals, shift perception as appropriate across acoustically controlled English and Spanish contexts. Early bilingual experience appears to promote language-specific phonetic systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2135-2142
Number of pages8
JournalPsychological Science
Volume24
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2013

Keywords

  • bilingualism
  • cognitive processes
  • language
  • speech perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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