Phonological Acquisition in Predominantly English-Speaking and Predominantly Sylheti-Speaking Bilingual Children
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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There are currently no normative data available about phonological acquisition in Sylheti-English bilingual children. This is a comparative study of the accuracy of Sylheti consonant production by bilingual children between the ages of 3;6 to 5;0 of different generations. The children were grouped according to age and language dominance. Single-word speech samples were collected for consonants in word-initial and word-final position. The results show that Gen 1 Sylheti-dominant children were significantly more accurate. There were a number of main effects and interactions affecting the accuracy of production including generation, consonant, word position and age. Broad stages of consonant acquisition have been identified, revealing consonants that are acquired by age 3;6 and 4;6 by generation and word position. Error processes have also been identified. These errors indicate a trend of adaptations being made to Sylheti-specific sounds so that they are produced in alignment with the dominant host language. Theories of transmission of heritage languages are discussed.
B.Sc. (Hons) Speech and Language Therapy
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