• Phonological Transfer during Word Learning: Evidence from Bilingual School-Age Spanish-English-Speaking Children

      Alt, Mary; Erikson, Jessie Alise; Plante, Elena; Fabiano-Smith, Leah (The University of Arizona., 2016)
      Purpose: This study examines potential cross-linguistic effects on accuracy of codas in newly learned English-like nonwords produced by bilingual Spanish-English-speaking children. Methods: Forty-two bilingual Spanish-English-speaking second-graders (age 7-9) were matched individually with monolingual peers on age (+/- 6 months), sex, and percentile score on the Goldman-Fristoe Test of Articulation (GFTA-2; Goldman & Fristoe, 2000), and matched for group on mother's level of education. Participants named various sea monsters as part of computerized word-learning games. Sixteen syllable-final coda consonants were analyzed for accuracy. These were drawn from thirteen nonwords distributed across five word-learning tasks. Results: Bilingual children were less accurate than monolingual children in production of both shared and unshared codas, though the gap was greater for unshared codas. Both bilingual and monolingual children were more accurate in production of shared codas than unshared codas. Conclusion: The results suggest that native language phonotactics influence accuracy of coda production in bilingual Spanish-English-speaking school-age children during word learning. Influences of native phonology on word learning could potentially impact academic achievement through vocabulary learning in the classroom.