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Bilingualism and aspiration

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Abstract

Spanish has become increasingly prevalent in Bilwi, a Nicaraguan town on the northern Atlantic Coast, where many L1-Miskitu locals are now Spanish-dominant. As the community shifts towards Spanish, I investigate whether these L2-Spanish speakers are producing advanced rates of coda /s/ reduction like monolingual Nicaraguan Spanish speakers. In a comparison of the Miskitu’s reduction rates with Spanish monolinguals, I find that Miskitu speakers who learned Spanish later in life do reduce coda /s/ but diverge from monolingual reduction rates preconsonantally. I contend that salience and perceptibility can account for this difference. While monolinguals reduce /s/ the most in cue-impoverished environments, the L2-Spanish speakers reduce /s/ more where they hear the reductions the best: in cue-rich, prevocalic environments.

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