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Title: Phonological acquisition in Malta : a bilingual language learning context
Authors: Grech, Helen
Dodd, Barbara
Keywords: Children -- Language -- Malta -- Case studies
Bilingualism in children -- Malta
Articulation disorders in children -- Malta
Issue Date: 2008
Publisher: Sage Publications Ltd.
Citation: Grech, H., & Dodd, B. (2008). Phonological acquisition in Malta : a bilingual language learning context. International Journal of Bilingualism, 12(3), 155-171.
Abstract: A total of 241 Maltese children aged 2;0–6;0 years, drawn randomly from the public registry of births, were assessed on a picture naming task to evaluate phone articulation, phonology and consistency of word production. Children were allowed to use the language they chose (either Maltese or English). Ninety-three children (38.6%) were reported by parents to speak both Maltese and English at home, 137 (56.9%) were reported to speak Maltese and 11 (4.7%) only English at home. The data gained were analyzed for percent consonants and vowels correct, adult phonemes absent, developmental speech error patterns, number of English and Maltese words used, and the percentage of children using translation equivalents. The children who were reported to be only exposed to English at home were not compared statistically with other children because of the small number in that group. The data showed an increase in phonological competence over the age range and differences between children reported to be exposed to one as opposed to two languages at home. Many children, irrespective of reported home language context, used both English and Maltese during assessment. The results were interpreted as showing independent phonological systems that nevertheless interacted; a bilingual language learning context affected word naming language choice.
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