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The penultimate syllable vowel length among Setswana-English bilingual children

Sebina, B., Setter, J. and Wright, C. (2019) The penultimate syllable vowel length among Setswana-English bilingual children. In: Calhoun, S., Escudero, P., Tabain, M. and Warren, P. (eds.) Proceedings of the 19th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, Melbourne, Australia 2019. Australasian Speech Science and Technology Association Inc., Canberra, Australia, pp. 2881-2885. ISBN 9780646800691

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Abstract/Summary

This study examines the relative duration of the penultimate syllable vowel (PSVL) in multisyllabic Setswana words in the speech of 20 Batswana (citizens) primary school children aged 6-7 years growing up in Botswana. Setswana phonology requires the lengthening of the vowel in the penultimate syllable of multisyllabic words. The participants are 10 privately educated English medium early sequential Setswana-English bilingual children, taught full-time in English (L2) from the age of 3 years, for whom English has become dominant, and 10 Setswana monolingual children. The aim is to see whether the L2, which does not have the PSVL as a phonological pattern, has had an effect on the L1 of the bilinguals. The results show that the bilinguals do not lengthen the penultimate syllable vowel; rather, they lengthen the vowel of the final syllable. The results support the notion that extensive exposure to L2 can cause changes to the patterns of L1.

Item Type:Book or Report Section
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Centre for Literacy and Multilingualism (CeLM)
Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Literature and Languages > English Language and Applied Linguistics
ID Code:85972
Publisher:Australasian Speech Science and Technology Association Inc.

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