German segments in the speech of German-Spanish bilingual children

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The production of segments in a first language (L1) has been reported to be different in bilingual children as compared with monolingual children. Often, consonants involve a delay in the bilinguals’ data (see, e.g., Lleó & Rakow 2006), whereas vowels are usually not associated with any delay (see Kehoe 2002). The present work shows new data that suggest that consonants, in this case the ones involved in the German voicing contrast (which is neutralized in final position), contribute to a delay in bilingual acquisition. A vowel, specifically, German underlying schwa, did not cause any delay. In fact, target-like production of schwa seems to have been subject to acceleration in the case of the bilinguals.


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