The accent rating experiments reported in this paper confirm that fluent Catalan-Spanish bilinguals who reside in a bilingual society, learned only one language at home, as children, and remain frequent users of their first language, fundamentally having social networks within their language group, have a native accent in their first language and a non-native one in their second language, as judged by listeners with a very similar linguistic background. One of the main inferences we can draw from the present paper is that bilingual raters (at least if still dominant in their first language) are sensitive to speech produced by non-dominant bilinguals (even if these bilinguals are early learners and highly proficient). The present paper supports the widespread finding that speech performance in bilinguals is tremendously affected by the age of first exposure to the second language and by linguistic experience. A novel method to assess non-native accent on a linear, continuous scale is explained.
Selected Proceedings of the 4th Conference on Laboratory Approaches to Spanish Phonology
edited by Marta Ortega-Llebaria Table of contents
ISBN 978-1-57473-438-6 library binding
v + 145 pages
publication date: 2010
published by Cascadilla Proceedings Project, Somerville, MA, USA