An Analysis of English and Spanish Stop Production in Heritage Spanish Speech: The Columbus, Ohio Speech Community
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Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. Department of Spanish and Portuguese Undergraduate Research Theses; 2020
Due to the rising Hispanic population in the US, Heritage Spanish speakers, a type of bilingual speaker who grew up with some degree of exposure to a minority language as their first language [L1] while living in a country with some other majority language which is learned as their second language [L2], are becoming more prevalent in our society. Though these speakers account for a large number of the population throughout the country, studies focusing on Heritage Spanish typically focus on "traditionally" Spanish speaking areas such as the southwest. This study seeked to provide a snapshot into the Columbus, Ohio Heritage Spanish speech community, focusing on the stop consonants /p,t,k,b,d,g/, which appear in both languages but have distinct productions for each language. Stress, location within the word, place of articulation, and language dominance were then analyzed to discern any effects they had on the overall and individual productions of VOT and intensity ratio. Lastly, sociolinguistic factors of highest level of education completed, age of exposure, and amount of exposure were also tracked to determine their effect on individual sound production. Speakers were found to maintain separate phonetic categories for their Spanish and English sounds. Stress was found to have a significant effect on English voiceless stops, the realization of Spanish and English voiced stops, and the intensity of Spanish and English voiced stops. Location within the word was also found to have a significant effect on both English and Spanish voiceless stops, as well as the realization and intensity of Spanish and English voiced stops. The effects of sociolinguistic factors varied between voiced and voiceless sounds, but a strong connection was found linking percentage of time spent using English to VOT and intensity production for both sets. This strongly suggests that the sociolinguistic factor which is most important in phonological acquisition is use of the target language.
Academic Major: Linguistics
Academic Major: Spanish
Academic Major: Spanish