USF St. Petersburg campus Faculty Publications


Identification of code-mixed words by fluent Taiwanese-English bilinguals.

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Alejandro Brice

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In speech perception, there are three predominant models (i.e. top-down, bottom-up or a combination processing model). Recent discussion has focused on use of a combination model by bilingual speakers. Normative information is essential when applied to bilingual participants, in order to clarify what type of language input will best facilitate learning or recovery of specific language abilities. The purpose of this investigation was to study the identification of code-mixed words among Taiwanese–English speaking bilingual individuals. This study posed the following two questions: Is there a difference in the identification of an English or Taiwanese code-mixed word in fluent bilingual speakers (i.e. Taiwanese–English)? Is there a difference in the listener's perception of the code-mixed stimuli according to length of residence (LOR), or to the amount of time a speaker has lived in the United States? Thirty-two Taiwanese–English fluent bilinguals with no reported speech or hearing deficits participated in this experiment. The participants were divided into three subgroups according to LOR (i.e. short LOR, 2–6 years; middle LOR, 7–10 years; and late LOR, 11–20 years). The participants heard sentences with the last word broken up into segments increasing in length (gates). Each targeted word was contained in a sentence presented under four different language conditions. The results of this study indicated that bilingual listeners were able to distinguish differences according to language but there were no significant differences by subgroup or differences in language by group interactions. The listeners were not able to differentiate items with regard to the specific language conditions being heard. However, a profile plot analysis indicated that differences did occur with regard to the language conditions. In addition, a profile of different English language acquisition was noted by the short, middle or long length of residence groups.


Taylor & Francis

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