Perception and Production of Welsh Vowels by Welsh-Spanish Bilinguals
AuthorBell, Elise Adrienne
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction, presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis dissertation investigates the production and perception of Welsh vowels by a population of Welsh-Spanish bilinguals in Argentina. As one of only two Welsh speaking communities in the world, the Argentinean Welsh community provides an unique opportunity to compare the extent and nature of cross-linguistic interference from two different majority languages (Spanish and English) on a single minority language: Welsh. Welsh is spoken in Argentina primarily by descendants of 19th century Welsh colonists who settled in southern Argentina, all of whom are bilingual with Spanish, just as all adult Welsh speakers in Wales are bilingual with English. The three articles comprising the dissertation build on each other to describe the current state of cross-linguistic interference in Welsh today, focusing particularly on the variety spoken in Argentina. The first article compares the vocalic systems of two major dialects of Welsh (one spoken in Wales and one in Argentina) and seeks to determine how much of the difference between the two dialects is attributable to cross-linguistic interference from Spanish (on the dialect spoken in Argentina), as opposed to English (on the dialect spoken in Wales). The second article assesses the relationship between vowel perception and vowel production by Welsh-Spanish bilinguals, focusing on the hypothesis that cross-linguistic interference from Spanish affects which Welsh vowel contrasts are most challenging for Welsh-Spanish bilinguals to produce and perceive. The third article continues the discussion of Welsh vowel perception, determining that the acoustic cues used in Welsh vowel identification by Welsh-Spanish bilinguals are affected by relative experience with Welsh and Spanish. Together, the three articles document the vocalic system of Argentinean Welsh and demonstrate that differences between this dialect and others spoken by Welsh-English bilinguals can be attributed to differences in the extent and nature of cross-linguistic interference from Spanish on the vocalic system of Welsh.
Degree ProgramGraduate College