Bilingual Children's Phonological Study

As we discussed phonological acquisition in bilingual children by reading Tessier chapter 5, and Vihman 2016, I became more curious about bilingual children’s phonological acquisition and its acquisition process. As the discussion of whether the bilingual children have two separate phonological system at the begging or not has been a big question in the study, I wanted to have further reading on that topic. This paper, “Phonological Acquisition in in Bilingual Spanish-English speaking children” by Leah Fabiano-Smith and Brian A. Goldstein assumes that those bilingual children do have two phonological system at least at age of 3 or 4 and determines whether the bilingual children demonstrate the evidence of interaction between two languages, …show more content…
Moreover, this test is designed to use to measure the language ability of children who are age 4 to 6, but the participants in this experiment were age 3 to 4, so whether BESA was suitable for those children or not, is questionable. Despite the fact that the method of the experiment was not ideal to observe the children’s inventory in the pragmatic setting, from this experiment, they were able to draw many conclusions about bilingual children’s phonological systems. When determining the interactions between the two phonological systems in bilingual children, they found that there were some transfers of the segments in between English and Spanish in bilingual children’s inventory, and they made two analyses. First, they completed the analysis about the quantity of phonological transfer. Examples of phonological transfer were recorded when phonetically dissimilar sound so-called “unshared sound” in the specific language appeared in the other languages, or when a fine phonetic distinction specific to one language was found in the …show more content…
For example, about bilingual children’s phonological system, from Vihman 2016, we have found that it is likely that children have one phonological system at the beginning, but this study supports the evidence that bilingual children have two separate phonological systems. It is likely that the age of children will bring different results. If this study had different groups of children with different age, they could have determined how old the children would have two separate phonological systems. Another major limitation of this study is that the number of participants they had was relatively small, and the Spanish that monolingual Spanish children speak and bilingual children speak was slightly different, as bilingual participants speak Puerto Rican or Dominican Spanish. There can be some differences in sound accuracy or rate of acquisition depending on the kind of Spanish they speak, so it would have been better if both monolingual and bilingual children speak the same type of Spanish. In future studies, it might be possible to use parameters of complexity to predict on which elements interaction and separation will be observed between a bilingual child’s two languages. Also, as Spanish and English are quite similar and share many sounds and they even have similar words, it will be more interesting to run the experiments with bilingual children with two languages that have extremely

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