Heritage Language Obstruent Phonetics and Phonology

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This chapter explores the acoustics and phonology of speech sounds produced by Norwegian heritage speakers in the Upper Midwest in Norwegian and to a lesser extent in English. The study reports work on acoustic differences in obstruents spoken by heritage speakers whose L1 and L2 are both ‘aspiration’ languages, namely Norwegian and American English, but which differ phonologically in other ways. Our focus falls in particular on laryngeal features, that is, the realization of the distinction between ‘voiced’ and ‘voiceless’ or ‘lenis’ and ‘fortis’ consonants, along with the closely related issue of durational contrasts in Norwegian. Building on Allen and Salmons (2012), we argue that the Norwegian and English spoken by Norwegian-American bilinguals will each show influence from the other language, but asymmetrically.


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