The present study examines the effect of language switching on phonetic production, contributing to an understanding of the underlying interaction between a bilingual’s two phonetic systems. While phonetic interaction has been studied in non-switched and codeswitched paradigms, effects of connected speech (e.g. speech planning, pragmatics, etc.) may obscure underlying phonetic interaction. To investigate the impact of language switching, a cued picture-naming task was employed, with Spanish-English bilinguals of differing dominance profiles naming pictures in English and Spanish. Stimuli were produced both as switched and non-switched tokens. Addressing the impact of context, stimuli were presented in three contexts varying in quantity of language. Results indicate an asymmetrical effect of language switching on voice onset time. Specifically, both Spanish-dominant and English-dominant bilinguals demonstrated unidirectional transfer, with the dominant language significantly impacted by language switching. Drawing parallels with findings of asymmetrical temporal costs found at the lexical level, and resulting theoretical models, implications are discussed with reference to possible inhibitory mechanisms at play in bilingual phonetic selection and switching.
Language Switching, Language Mode, Code Switching, Bilingualism, Spanish, English, Voice Onset Time
Date of this Version
Olson, D. J. (2013). Bilingual language switching and selection at the phonetic level: Asymmetrical transfer in VOT production. Journal of Phonetics, 41(6), 407-420. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wocn.2013.07.005