Project 4

Influence of lexical phonological overlap in bilingual language acquisition (WP1)

ESR 4: Camille Frey


Prof. Dr. Núria Sebastián-Gallés (University Pompeu Fabra, Spain)
Prof. Thierry Nazzi (University Paris Descartes, France)

This ESR project investigates the possible impact of the phonological overlap present at the lexical level on bilinguals’ early phonological representations. More specifically, we are focusing on the Spanish-Catalan bilingualism because of the strong phonological overlap between these two languages due to the sharing of a relatively high number of cognates. The possible influence of this phonological overlap will be explored at two levels of phonological representations: the establishment of a phonetic repertoire and lexico-semantic processing.

Behavioural data will be collected in both monolingual (Spanish or Catalan) and Spanish-Catalan bilingual infants as part of two series of experiments.

The first series of experiments investigates the influence of the lexical phonological overlap on the phonetic sensitivity in early word recognition by assessing both monolingual and bilingual infants’ recognition ability for familiar words. The second series of experiments explores the lexical access in bilingual toddlers by assessing the backward semantic inhibition mechanism. For both series of experiments, we will also collect information concerning the infants’ vocabulary knowledge.