Dialect density in bilingual Puerto Rican Spanish-English speaking children
It is still largely unknown how the two phonological systems of bilingual children interact. In this exploratory study, we examine children’s use of dialect features to determine how their speech sound systems interact. Six monolingual Puerto Rican Spanish-speaking children and six bilingual Puerto Rican Spanish-English speaking children, ages 5–7 years, were included in the current study. Children’s single word productions were analyzed for (1) dialect density and (2) frequency of occurrence of dialect features (after Oetting & McDonald, 2002). Nonparametric statistical analyses were used to examine differences within and across language groups. Results indicated that monolinguals and bilinguals exhibited similar dialect density, but differed on the types of dialect features used. Findings are discussed within the theoretical framework of the Dual Systems Model (Paradis, 2001) of language acquisition in bilingual children.
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