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Second Language Acquisition and First Language Phonological Modification
Gillian Lord
184-193 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


Many second language acquisition studies analyze the effects that the first language has on the development of the second, but less common are studies that examine the reverse situation: does acquisition of a second language affect the first? This study examines the effects of second language acquisition on first language use by looking at the English phonological productions of advanced English-speaking learners of Spanish; specifically, it investigates aspiration, or Voice Onset Time (VOT), of the voiceless consonants /p, t, k/ in both English and Spanish. Following Flege's (1987, 2005) Merger Hypothesis, it is hypothesized that the production of first language VOT values will be inadvertently impacted by the acquisition of a second language with different VOT values. Fifteen (5 native English speakers with advanced levels of Spanish and two control groups of 7 monolingual English speakers and 3 monolingual Spanish speakers) took part in an oral production experiment to determine the effect their second language has on the production of their first. Results indicate a tentative correlation between advanced levels of proficiency in a second language and changes in the first.

Published in

Selected Proceedings of the 10th Hispanic Linguistics Symposium
edited by Joyce Bruhn de Garavito and Elena Valenzuela
Table of contents
Printed edition: $250.00