Italian-German bilinguals : The effects of heritage language use on accent in early-acquired languages

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2020
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International Journal of Bilingualism. Sage Publications. 2020, 24(2), pp. 289-304. ISSN 1367-0069. eISSN 1756-6878. Available under: doi: 10.1177/1367006919826867
Zusammenfassung

Aims and objectives/purpose/research questions:
This study investigates perceived accent in the two early-acquired languages of 21 adult-aged bilinguals with Italian as the heritage language (HL) and German as the majority language (ML). We test the relative ability of ‘age of onset (AoO) in German’ (range = 0–6 years) and ‘Italian use’ to predict perceived nativeness in Italian and German.

Design/methodology/approach:
Two accent rating experiments were carried out (one in each language) comparing the bilingual speech samples to those of monolingual and second language (L2) control groups. The samples were rated by German and Italian-speaking judges for foreign accent (‘yes’ or ‘no’) and for degree of certainty (‘certain, ‘semi-certain’, ‘uncertain’).

Data and analysis:
The effects of ‘AoO in German’ and ‘Italian Use’ (operationalized as an Italian Use Score) were analysed using correlational analyses and logistic regression.

Findings/conclusions:
Our results show that almost all bilinguals were indistinguishable from monolingual controls in German, and that their perceived accent in Italian lay somewhere between that of the monolingual and L2 controls. Based on regression analyses, we conclude that a later introduction of the ML has neither a negative effect on the ML itself, nor does it show up advantages in the HL. Instead, how native-like the heritage speakers (HSs) sound in the HL largely depends on HL use. No negative effects of HL use are found for German.

Originality:
We test a new population of Italian HSs in South Germany and compare these results to findings from other HS populations in Germany.

Significance/implications:
This study shows that, although it may be the case for child-aged bilinguals that introducing the ML earlier causes more phonological pressure on the HL, this effect seems to have disappeared by adulthood – at least with regards to perceived global accent. Also, accent in the HL depends on HL use across the lifespan

Zusammenfassung in einer weiteren Sprache
Fachgebiet (DDC)
400 Sprachwissenschaft, Linguistik
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Heritage speakers, foreign accent, age of onset, input and use, German, Italian
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undefined / . - undefined, undefined
Zitieren
ISO 690LLOYD-SMITH, Anika, Marieke EINFELDT, Tanja KUPISCH, 2020. Italian-German bilinguals : The effects of heritage language use on accent in early-acquired languages. In: International Journal of Bilingualism. Sage Publications. 2020, 24(2), pp. 289-304. ISSN 1367-0069. eISSN 1756-6878. Available under: doi: 10.1177/1367006919826867
BibTex
@article{LloydSmith2020-04Itali-45383,
  year={2020},
  doi={10.1177/1367006919826867},
  title={Italian-German bilinguals : The effects of heritage language use on accent in early-acquired languages},
  number={2},
  volume={24},
  issn={1367-0069},
  journal={International Journal of Bilingualism},
  pages={289--304},
  author={Lloyd-Smith, Anika and Einfeldt, Marieke and Kupisch, Tanja}
}
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