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PIRE undergraduate fellow Delaney Wilson presented at the Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society

When Nov 11, 2017
Where Vancouver, Canada
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Title: Phonological convergence in Spanish-English bilinguals: VOT differences in habitual and non-habitual codeswitchers.


Abstract: Bilinguals have longer voice onset times (VOTs) when naming isolated pictures during switched trials than non-switched trials (Goldrick et al., 2014; Olson, 2013), indicating that switching impacts phonetic output. To understand how this manifests in naturalistic speech, we employed a sentence creation task focusing on word-initial /p/ and /t/ phonemes. Habitual and non-habitual code-switchers produced sentences that switched from Spanish to English, from English to Spanish, and unilingual Spanish and English sentences. Spanish VOTs were shorter than English VOTs in all contexts, for both habitual and non-habitual code-switchers. In habitual code-switchers, English VOTs were shorter in code-switched than in unilingual sentences, suggesting phonological convergence in code-switched sentences. No such difference was found in non-habitual switchers, indicating they maintain phonetic distinctions between both languages in code-switched sentences. The difference between habitual and non-habitual code-switchers suggests that phonological convergence manifests differently with language use.