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Abstract

This article presents an overview of recent research on the phonetics of early bilinguals, individuals who have acquired both of their languages early in life, by either growing up being exposed to two languages since birth (i.e., simultaneous bilinguals) or having initially learned their first language with the second language introduced at a later stage during their childhood (i.e., early sequential or successive/consecutive bilinguals). This review puts forth empirical evidence from methodologically and theoretically diverse studies on the phonetics of early bilingualism and considers explanations for the observed patterns of cross-linguistic influence on the production, perception, and processing of sounds in both of their languages. Throughout, this article discusses the critical significance of early linguistic experience on bilingual speech patterns, how early-onset bilinguals perceive speech sounds in each language, bilinguals’ phonetic abilities when producing language-specific segmental and suprasegmental features, and the dynamic nature of cross-language sound interactions in early bilingual speech.

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2024-01-16
2024-04-17
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