Dialect density in bilingual Puerto Rican Spanish-English speaking children

Leah Fabiano-Smith, Rebecca Shuriff, Jessica A. Barlow, Brian A. Goldstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


It is still largely unknown how the two phonological systems of bilingual chil-dren interact. In this exploratory study, we examine children's use of dialect features to determine how their speech sound systems interact. Six monolingual Puerto Rican Spanish-speaking children and six bilingual Puerto Rican Spanish- English speaking children, ages 5-7 years, were included in the current study. Children's single word productions were analyzed for (1) dialect density and (2) frequency of occurrence of dialect features (after Oetting & McDonald, 2002). Nonparametric statistical analyses were used to examine differences within and across language groups. Results indicated that monolinguals and bilinguals ex-hibited similar dialect density, but differed on the types of dialect features used. Findings are discussed within the theoretical framework of the Dual Systems Model (Paradis, 2001) of language acquisition in bilingual children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)34-60
Number of pages27
JournalLinguistic Approaches to Bilingualism
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2014


  • Acquisition
  • Bilingual
  • Phonology
  • Puerto Rican
  • Spanish

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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