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Phon&Phon lectures: N Rodríguez on perception and production of lexical stress among Spanish-English bilinguals

The Department of Contemporary English Language (DoCELu) is happy to announce a Phon&Phon meeting.

Nicole Rodríguez (WA

The perception and production of lexical stress among early Spanish-English bilingual children


The present talk will analyze speech production and perception in early heritage Spanish-English bilingual children. Specifically, how perception and production of lexical stress develops in bilingual children. Current models of second language (L2) speech perception do not include heritage bilinguals or suprasegemental aspects of speech, like word stress. By analyzing the development of suprasegemental speech perception and production in heritage bilingual children, we can expand the scope of current models of speech perception. To the best of my knowledge, this is the first study to examine how perception and production of phonology develop in this population of speakers. The project attempts to answer the following questions:

  • How do child bilinguals produce and perceive stress contrasts in both of their languages?
  • How does the production and perception of lexical stress develop as a function of age and proficiency?
  • Is there a discrepancy between perception and production abilities?
  • How does perception and production of stress during childhood compare to that of adult bilinguals?
  • Can lexical stress perception be improved using pedagogical interventions?
  • Does improvement depend on stress pattern and language?

In order to answer these questions, this project is divided into three experiments. Experiment 1 examined the production of lexical stress. Spanish-English early heritage bilinguals ages 6-11 and a group of adult bilinguals completed two production tasks: a Delayed-Repetition task and an Elicited Production task.  Experiment 2 explored the perception of lexical stress of English- and Spanish- like pseudowords via an AX discrimination task. Finally, Experiment 3 investigated the impact of a pedagogical intervention on the perception of lexical stress and the relationship between perception and production abilities.

Overall, the results of the project inform models of speech learning and pedagogical models to teaching heritage speakers.

Tuesday, 1 February 2022, 18:30

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