Chapter published in:Child Bilingualism and Second Language Learning: Multidisciplinary perspectives
Edited by Fangfang Li, Karen E. Pollock and Robbin Gibb
[Bilingual Processing and Acquisition 10] 2020
► pp. 275–302
Wordlikeness and nonword repetition in Spanish-speaking bilingual children
Some variation in linguistic skill within the typical bilingual (L1 and L2 learning) population may be attributed to differences in language exposure (MacDonald & Christiansen, 2002). One component of language exposure is the frequency of a particular phonological pattern (e.g., syllabic and subsyllabic word components) within a language, as well as the regularity of the pattern, or its similarity to other patterns in the language. Measures of language processing, such as nonword repetition, provide a dynamic medium for analyzing the effects of language-specific patterns on production. Currently available Spanish nonword repetition tasks are based on Peninsular Spanish (or Castilian), although most Latinos living in the United States represent Latin American Spanish-speaking countries. Therefore, a Latin American Spanish nonword repetition tool that is equivalent to English tasks would be a beneficial addition to the research literature. Additionally, Spanish nonword repetition tasks in the literature vary in the degree to which they manipulate wordlikeness. In this chapter, we describe the stages involved in developing a task composed of two-, three-, and four- syllable nonwords which ranged in their similarity to real Latin American Spanish words. These nonwords were used to assess repetition performance in a group of young Spanish-speaking children. Results suggest that wordlikeness affects Spanish nonword repetition performance in young emerging bilingual children, providing some support to usage-based accounts of language learning.
Published online: 01 December 2020
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