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Book: Romance-Germanic Bilingual Phonology

Chapter: The Sociophonetics of Spanish–English Contact in the United States

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.27361


The current work provides evidence for the impact of several factors, speaker-internal and speaker-external, that have been shown to impact bilingual phonetic production. We focus on several points of phonetic divergence between the sounds systems––VOT, intonation, and labial fricative production––for empirical illustrations of how internal and external variables interact among Spanish-English bilinguals in the U.S. The variables are of three types: (1) we consider how language dominance and age of acquisition impact phonetic production; (2) we demonstrate how language mode modulates phonetic production such that the same speaker may produce varying realizations of a phonetic feature in differing language contexts, and (3) we show how other socio-contextual factors, including language of education, literacy, and speakers' social networks impact a speaker’s performance of bilingual speech.

Chapter Contributors

  • Barbara Bullock ( - bbullock) 'University of Texas at Austin'
  • Daniel Olson ( - dolson) 'Purdue University'