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Social and psychological influences on speech patterns and acquisition in bilingual speakers

30 November 2021

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An examination of the social and psychological influences on the speech patterns of bilingual speakers, from children to adults and across several languages, is the focus of a new volume co-edited by Dr Jonathan Morris from Cardiff University’s School of Welsh.

Dr Morris, Senior Lecturer and Director of Research at the School, worked with Dr Robert Mayr from Cardiff Metropolitan University on the special issue of the journal Languages, published by MDPI Books in print and digital formats. Social and Psychological Factors in Bilingual Speech Production aims to build a deeper understanding of the impact of social and psychological factors on the development of bilingual speech.

“For a wider and more holistic understanding of bilingual speech patterns it’s important to consider the social and psychological factors at play. Their influence can be significant and vary according to context."

Dr Jonathan Morris Director of Research

Dr Morris continued: “Psychological factors can include the usage of first and second languages, the age of onset learning, and length of residency in the second-language location while social factors can comprise cultural and ethnic orientation, socio-economic background, or broader demographic identifiers. The collection of papers that make up this new volume consider psychological or social factors within different contexts – some focused on children and others on adult speakers - and across a variety of languages, from Welsh and English to Arabic, Galician, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.”

As well as his role as co-editor, Dr Morris contributed an article looking at bilingualism in Wales specifically. The article, Social influences on phonological transfer: /r/ variation in the repertoire of Welsh-English bilinguals, considers how social factors influence pronunciation in the Welsh and English of bilinguals in north Wales.

Dr Morris added: “It’s been a pleasure working with Robert and the many contributors on this collection of articles. They are thought-provoking examinations that present new thinking and perspectives on the impact of social and psychological factors in the speech production of bilingual speakers.”

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