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Effects on L1 During Early Acquisition of L2: Speech Changes in Spanish at First English Contact
Bilingualism: Language & Cognition
  • Christina E. Gildersleeve-Neumann, Portland State University
  • Elizabeth D. Peña, University of Texas at Austin
  • Barbara L. Davis, University of Texas at Austin
  • Ellen S. Kester, University of Texas at Austin
Document Type
Publication Date
  • Children -- Language,
  • Language acquisition,
  • Phonology (Grammar),
  • Bilingualism
Spanish phonological development was examined in six sequential bilingual children at the point of contact with English and eight months later. We explored effects of the English vowel and consonant inventory on Spanish. Children showed a significant increase in consonant cluster accuracy and in vowel errors. These emerging sequential bilingual children showed effects of English on their first language, Spanish. Cross-linguistic transfer did not affect all properties of the phonology equally. Negative transfer may occur in specific areas where the second language is more complex, requiring reorganization of the existing system, as in the transition from the Spanish five-vowel to the English eleven-vowel system.

This is the publisher's final PDF. Article appears in Bilingualism: Language & Cognition. The original publication is available at: and is Copyright 2009 Cambridge University Press.

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Citation Information
Christina E., G., Elizabeth D., P., Davis, B. L., & Kester, E. S. (2009). Effects on L1 during early acquisition of L2: Speech changes in Spanish at first English contact. Bilingualism: Language & Cognition, 12(2), 259-272. doi:10.1017/S1366728908003994