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Monolingual-Mode English, Monolingual-Mode French, and Bilingual-Mode Stimuli Used (Wilson & Gick, 2014)

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journal contribution
posted on 01.04.2014, 00:00 by Ian Wilson, Bryan Gick
Purpose Previous work has shown that monolingual French and English speakers use distinct articulatory settings, the underlying articulatory posture of a language. In the present article, the authors report on an experiment in which they investigated articulatory settings in bilingual speakers. The authors first tested the hypothesis that in order to sound native-like, bilinguals must use distinct, language-specific articulatory settings in monolingual mode. The authors then tested the hypothesis that in bilingual mode, a bilingual individual's articulatory setting is identical to the monolingual-mode setting of 1 of his or her languages. Method Eight French–English bilinguals each read 90 English and 90 French sentences, and the authors measured their interspeech posture (ISP) using optical tracking of the lips and jaw and ultrasound imaging of the tongue.
Results Results show that bilingual speakers who are perceived as native in both languages exhibit distinct, language-specific ISPs, and those who are not perceived as native in one or more languages do not. In bilingual mode, bilinguals use an ISP that is equivalent to the monolingual-mode ISP of their currently most used language. The most balanced bilingual used a French lip ISP but an English tongue-tip ISP.
Conclusion Results support the claim that bilinguals who sound native in each of their languages have distinct articulatory settings for each language.

Funding

We thank the following individuals for their assistance: F. Almeida, F. Campbell, J. Chang, A.-M. Comte, R.-M. D�chaine, A. Hannam, R. Kumar, S. Marinova-Todd, M. Mizerski, E. Orpe, J.-F. Plante, D. Pulleyblank, J. Stemberger, E. Vatikiotis-Bateson, the late J. C. Wilson, and F. Xu. This research was funded by a grant to the second author from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.

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