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Gender, accent features and voicing in Panjabi-English bilingual children


By: Barry Heselwood and Louise McChrystal

Results are reported of an investigation into the presence of Panjabi accent features in the English of ten-year-old bilingual children as perceived by 45 phonetically-trained listeners. The male bilingual children were rated as exhibiting more Panjabi influence than the females, a result confirmed by close auditory analysis and narrow phonetic transcription which pinpointed postalveolar articulation of alveolar stops and associated backing of open vowels as the features that most differentiated the boys from the girls.

However, the amount of Panjabi influence in the realisation of English voiced stops as measured instrumentally showed no gender effect, although voiced stops in both languages were realised with a greater allophonic range than was found in the two control groups.

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