RESEARCH FINDINGS

RESEARCH FINDINGS

Collaborative Findings

How do our linguistic and sociocultural findings inform one another? Our team has been holding conversations to understand the mutual relation between the different components of our analysis. Read below to learn about our collective results.


Linguistic Analysis

We collected oral narratives for 20 Afrikaans-Spanish bilinguals during our 2014 fieldwork trip. We then analyzed the pronunciation patterns of the bilingual speakers' narratives in Praat, an acoustic analysis software.


Sociocultural Analysis

At the same time, we tagged the content of the bilingual speakers' narratives and found that the most common topic was Language. Community members expressed feeling "foreign" in both languages.


Monolinguals in Spanish vs. Bilinguals in Spanish

This graph shows that both Spanish monolinguals and the Afrikaans-Spanish bilinguals use the same vowel space in Spanish. This suggests that Afrikaans pronunciation does not influence the bilinguals' pronunciation in Spanish.

Bilinguals
Monolinguals

Monolinguals in Spanish vs. Monolinguals in Afrikaans

Monolingual Afrikaans speakers and monolingual Spanish speakers have fairly different vowel spaces. Afrikaans monolinguals have a particularly high degree of variation in their vowels, in contrast to Spanish monolinguals, whose /e o a/ vowels do not overlap.

Afrikaans
Spanish

Bilinguals in Spanish vs. Bilinguals in Afrikaans

The bilingual speakers have very similar vowel spaces in Afrikaans and Spanish. In fact, their vowel spaces in both languages are very similar. This suggests that bilinguals use more Spanish-like phonology in their production of vowels.

Afrikaans
Spanish

Monolinguals in Afrikaans vs. Bilinguals in Afrikaans

Afrikaans monolinguals have more variation in their vowel production. This is partially an effect of the Afrikaans of the bilinguals lacking allophonic rules that are present in monolingual Afrikaans.

Monolinguals
Bilinguals

CONCLUSION


Community members have stated their intuitions about feeling "foreign" when they communicate in both Afrikaans and Spanish. Our original hypothesis was that this feeling of foreignness represents speakers' awareness of their idiosyncratic pronunciation of both languages. These data partially confirm our initial explanation: the speakers' Afrikaans vowels are very Spanish-influenced, while their vowels in Spanish show no influence from Afrikaans. Our research team is working collaboratively to investigate this discrepancy between language ideology and the linguistic findings, and has developed a research plan for 2018-2020, including a second fieldwork trip.