Journal of Monolingual and Bilingual Speech 2021-07-08T12:34:13+00:00 Elena Babatsouli, PhD Open Journal Systems <p>This journal studies human speech in all its manifestations. The average person in today's world speaks at least one native language in its standard and/or dialectal forms and speaks at various levels of proficiency at least one more languge that is acquired simultaneously or consecutively in instructional or immersion settings. The term speech is used here to mean oral rather than written language and is an umbrella term to refer both to the physical aspects of the ability to speak/communicate as well as the cognitive aspects involved in the human linguistic faculty. Gestural (sign) language, i,e, the language of manual communication is known to display, by and large, the same fundamental properties as spoken language, and as such is a type of speech. <a href="">More about the journal.</a></p> Challenges in the perception of L2 English phonemes by native speakers of Cypriot Greek 2020-04-16T13:49:47+00:00 Elena Kkese Sviatlana Karpava <p>Research into non-native speech perception performance suggests that adults encounter difficulties discriminating segmental distinctions that are not used contrastively in their first language. Current theoretical models suggest that these difficulties are related to the acquisition of a native speech system but diverge in whether the perceptual mechanisms operate on acoustic or articulatory information. The present research addresses: (1) the difficulties Cypriot Greek (CGR) listeners of L2 English encounter with English vowels and consonants, and (2) the effect of extra-linguistic (i.e. age, gender, years of learning L2 English, educational setting, age of onset, reported use in the L2, visits to English-speaking countries) and linguistic factors (word frequency, word length, syllable number) on the perception of vowels and consonants in L2 English. A task involving two discrimination tests assessed native CGR listeners’ perception of English contrasts for vowels and consonants. Overall, listeners performed slightly better when dealing with consonants compared to vowels, significant effects have been reported. Concerning the examined factors, age, gender, years of L2 instruction, and years of experience have been reported to have significant effects, especially on speech perception of consonants. Specifically, the findings suggest that acoustic cues such as voicing and vowel length, which are relevant for native speakers of English, may not be for non-native speakers, in this case for CGR L1 speakers.</p> 2021-07-08T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Equinox Publishing Ltd. Early grammatical development in Cypriot Greek 2020-04-16T13:42:33+00:00 Loukia Taxitari <p class="abstract" style="line-height: 200%; margin: 24.0pt 19.35pt 12.0pt 18.0pt;">The current study investigates the grammatical development of toddlers acquiring Cypriot Greek as their first language. The MacArthur-Bates Communicative Development Inventory (CDI) was used to collect data from parents of children between 18 and 30 months of age. This is the first large-scale study presenting information on the grammatical development of children in Cyprus, as well as comparisons between grammatical development and other aspects of language development, such as lexical development. The data included information on several grammatical features, such as the formation of plural in nouns, or person in verbs, as well as children’s utterance length (MLU3-w) as a measure of morphosyntactic abilities. The analysis showed a significant increase with age in children’s grammatical complexity (the number of grammatical features produced by children), length of utterance as well as children’s lexicons, with an overall advantage of girls over boys. Additionally, the different grammatical features were shown to develop at different times and pace, with an interesting increase at the end of the second and the beginning of the third year. Overall grammatical development is shown to be ‘piecemeal’, supporting usage-based accounts of morphological development.</p> 2021-07-08T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Equinox Publishing Ltd. On the specificities of L1 and L2 (dis)fluencies and the interactional multimodal strategies of L2 speakers in tandem interactions 2020-06-04T14:48:31+00:00 Loulou Kosmala <p>‘Disfluencies’, defined as a suspension of speech, are usually more frequent in L2 than in L1, which is said to be related to the learners’ proficiency level. ‘Disfluency’ or ‘fluency’ have thus often been associated with language proficiency and temporal characteristics. Grounded in a functionally ambivalent view of (dis)fluency captured in situated multimodal discourse, our research program aims to measure the degree of (dis)fluency found in tandem interactions by comparing their specificities in L1 and L2 productions of French and American English. In this paper, we stress out the need to regard (dis) fluency as a multimodal and multilevel phenomenon, which takes into account vocal and visual-gestural modalities of discourse. While our quantitative results indicate a higher rate of complex (dis)fluencies in L2 than in L1, which supports previous studies, and a higher gestural activity in L2, the qualitative analyses conducted on the data illustrate their multimodal and interactional dimension. This paper presents new methods to evaluate the degree of (dis)fluency, by combining quantitative and qualitative methods, based on an interactional scale, which takes into account the multimodal communication strategies of L2 speakers. We thus argue that (dis)fluency is not only the result of communication breakdowns as it is highly contextualized. It should thus not only be measured with temporal variables and overall frequency rates, but also with regards to the individual speaker’s use in multimodal interactional and intersubjective contexts.</p> 2021-07-08T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Equinox Publishing Ltd. First-language-specific orthographic effects in second-language speech 2020-06-06T14:32:53+00:00 Yasaman Rafat Veronica Whitford Marc F. Joanisse Natasha Swiderski Sarah Cornwell Mercedeh Mohaghegh Celina Valdivia Nasim Fakoornia Parastoo Nasrollahzadeh Leila Habibi <p>We investigated first-language (L1) orthographic effects on second-language (L2) speech production in Korean–English and Farsi–English bilinguals, as compared to English monolinguals. We used a word-reading and word-naming task to compare the production of the single grapheme (letter) (e.g, ) with the digraph (e.g., ). An acoustic analysis of 600 tokens in Praat revealed that Korean–English bilinguals exhibited significantly longer [m:] productions compared to English monolinguals, but that the Farsi–English bilinguals did not. Longer/geminate [m:] productions are attributed to orthography-induced L1 transfer. We concluded that orthography does affect L2 word-reading and phonological mental representations, even when the L1 and L2 may have different scripts. We recommend that L2 speech learning be treated as a multi-modal event.</p> 2021-07-08T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Equinox Publishing Ltd. The production of L2 Italian voiced palatal lateral and voiced palatal nasal by English-speaking learners 2020-08-01T22:02:10+00:00 Giulia Cortiana Yasaman Rafat <p>This study examines the L2 production of the Italian (e.g. ‹tovaglia›, ‘tablecloth’) and (e.g. ‹agnello›, ‘lamb’) by English-speaking learners. Four beginner English-native speakers, one advanced English-native speakers and two Italian-native speakers completed a picture-naming task, a reading task and a language background questionnaire. An auditory and an acoustic analysis were conducted, where F1, F2, F3 and F4, and duration were measured. The results showed that both sounds are difficult for second language learners to acquire in a native-like manner. Moreover, each of these complex sounds may be produced as a sequence of two existing first languages sounds. Our findings have implications for L2 models of speech learning. We propose that a (marked) L2 sound may be produced as a sequence of existing L1 sounds.</p> 2021-07-08T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Equinox Publishing Ltd. Multilingual university students’ perceived English proficiency, intelligibility and participation 2020-11-19T15:05:42+00:00 Helen L. Blake Sarah Verdon Sharynne McLeod <p>This paper reports on 137 multilingual students enrolled at 14 English-speaking Australian universities who completed a 27-item online survey investigating the relationship between perceived English proficiency, intelligibility, and their academic, social and vocational participation. Open-ended responses described strategies used to enhance spoken English. Participants came from 44 countries and spoke 49 home languages. Self-ratings of English communication skills were significantly affected by age, English experience, number of languages spoken and home language. Participants reported spoken English proficiency impacted participation; however, results highlighted lack of awareness of intelligibility as an essential component of spoken language proficiency. Although environmental factors (e.g. more time using English in conversations) were associated with higher self-ratings of proficiency, participants preferred using individual strategies (e.g. listening/repeating) to support English intelligibility rather than social interactions with native speakers. The results demonstrate the importance of conversation practice in language learning to increase proficiency and confidence, as well as participation. </p> 2021-07-08T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Equinox Publishing Ltd.