Switching language dominance for ideological reasons: A study of Galician new speakers speech production and perception


In minority language communities, language choice may be related to identity. In the bilingual community of Galicia, some speakers switch language dominance at a late stage in development, normally during adolescence. These ‘new speakers’, neofalantes, are originally dominant in Spanish but switch to Galician for cultural or ideological reasons. The present study investigated the consequences of this language shift for neofalantes' production and perception of Galician. The results demonstrated that neofalantes produced intermediate categories that were different from those of Spanish and Galician- dominants, but that changes in production were not accompanied by changes in perception. Although these findings might suggest that neofalantes process their new, dominant language through the categories of their former dominant language, another possibility is that they change aspects of their production to try to fit in with a new group of speakers, Galician-dominants, whilst retaining some Spanish variants to show belonging to the neofalantes community.

Proceedings of the International Congress of Phonetic Sciences
Gisela Tomé Lourido
Gisela Tomé Lourido
Lecturer in Sociophonetics

Gisela Tomé Lourido is a Lecturer in Sociophonetics in the Linguistics and Phonetics department at the University of Leeds.