Articulation and speaking rates of Polish-French bilingual children
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Submission date: 2018-03-26
Final revision date: 2018-06-02
Acceptance date: 2018-06-02
Online publication date: 2018-07-26
Publication date: 2018-07-20
Health Psychology Report 2018;6(4):330–338
Bilingualism or multilingualism, while being of great benefit, often presents a significant challenge for experts. In fact, the linguistic development process for monolingual and bilingual speakers differs significantly. Even though such milestones as a baby’s first words or sentences are often reached at the same time in both cases, other phenomena typical for bilingualism may appear to be disorders or delays if considered within the categories of monolingualism. The objective of the present study was to determine whether there were differences between the achievements of monolingual and bilingual children in the field of some prosodic speech aspects.

Participants and procedure:
The objective of the study was to collate research results concerning the speaking rates of bilingual speakers, and to compare them to the established standards in the field. The research material was obtained from a group of 16 bilingual children, unaffected by developmental, language or communication disorders, which was then described and analysed in terms of established research criteria, and compared to analogical data derived from a control group consisting of 16 monolingual children. The average age of the bilingual children was 8;11 and of the monolingual children from the control group 9;0.

The analysis of the material collected leads to the conclusions that, in terms of the basic parameters determining the speaking rates of the speech produced, statistically significant differences occurred between the monolingual and bilingual groups in the categories of average speaking rate (speech sounds and syllables per second, and pause duration) and the average articulation rate (speech sounds, syllables). There were no significant differences regarding number of pauses or the average duration of filled pauses.

The quantitative results and their statistical analysis agree with the hypothesis regarding slower speech production by bilingual children.

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