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Book: Romance-Germanic Bilingual Phonology

Chapter: Introduction

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.27348


This chapter provides an overview of the book's scope and contents and provides a rationale for the collection as a whole.

Bilingual contact whereby speakers use their two languages in their daily lives is a very common phenomenon. Among such situations, Romance-Germanic bilingualism is one of the most widespread contacts. The chapters in this book investigate several phonetic and phonological issues that are in contrast between 4 Germanic languages (English, German, Danish, and Swedish- with more than 500 million speakers) and 4 Romance languages (Spanish, Portuguese, French, and Italian - with more than 700 million speakers).

Contributions from original empirical research cover several phonotactic, segmental, and suprasegmental conflicting situations between Germanic and Romance languages. The first four chapters investigate issues related to vowels through Spanish-English, French-Danish, Spanish-German, and Spanish-Danish contact situations. The following five chapters explore various topics related to consonantal conflicts. These involve laterals in Spanish-English, final stops, and sonorant codas in Portuguese-English bilingualism. The volume next examines the issues related to voice onset time in French-Swedish, and Italian-German contacts, suprasegmental issues in French-English contact in France and in Canada and a phonotactic inquiry focusing on the markedness of onsets in Portuguese-English contact. The volume concludes with a look into sociophonetics of voice onset time, intonation and labial fricatives in Spanish-English bilinguals.

Chapter Contributors

  • Mehmet YavaƟ ( - myavas) 'Florida International University'
  • Margaret Kehoe ( - mkehoe) 'University of Geneva'
  • Walcir Cardoso ( - walcir) 'Concordia University'