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Book: Phonology in Protolanguage and Interlanguage

Chapter: 6. Phonological Development and Language Proficiency of Bilingual Children who Learn Greek as a Second Language

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.31677


Chapter 6 investigates aspects of early L2 phonological acquisition in association with broader language skills in order to examine the development of interlanguage phonology in Greek-speaking children, who acquired Greek as a second language. The study includes eleven bilingual English-Greek speaking children from grades three to six, and eleven monolingual Greek speaking peers as the control group. Phonological whole-word measures of accuracy (PCC), complexity (pMLU), proximity (PWP) and variability (PWV) were calculated from children’s retelling of the Greek ‘Frog where are you?’ story. Measures of phonological awareness, vocabulary and reading in both languages have also been included. Results suggest that their level of phonological acquisition in their interlanguage exhibits a gradient mix of characteristics typical of both early bilingual and L2 acquisition of phonology. The research builds on the assumption that by identifying both similarities and differences between monolingual and bilingual acquisition, specific insights may be gained for phonological development and linguistic abilities across different modes and stages of language acquisition, which has significant implications for research and practice.

Chapter Contributors

  • Eleni Morfidi ( - emorfidi) 'University of Ioannina'
  • Eleni Samsari ( - esamsari) 'University of Patras'