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Literacy’s influence on the production and perception of speech

Objective

The main objective of this project is to demonstrate that language-specific grapheme-phoneme correspondences reshape bilinguals’ phonemic space, which has direct consequences for speech production and perception. Moreover, this project will explore fine-grained properties of this recalibration in association with differing levels of bilingualism and language-specific reading proficiency. These goals will be reached by investigating how literacy (i.e., grapheme-phoneme conversion rules) recalibrates language-specific representations of speech sounds (phonemic representations; PRs). I aim to demonstrate that acoustic position and dispersion of PRs in bilingual readers vary depending on a) language-specific orthographic consistency and b) reading proficiency. Populations with differing degrees of bilingualism and reading proficiency will be tested in behavioural and neurophysiological paradigms: The initial stages of bilingualism will be captured by testing Spanish native speakers in a novel phoneme-and-grapheme learning experiment. The advanced stages of bilingualism will be captured by testing Basque-English sequential bilinguals who already built PRs in their second language. Until now, the fields of bilingualism and reading have been studied separately, although the two fields may mutually influence one another. The most innovative aspect of this project is its link between these two formerly unrelated research fields into a new research program, which takes into account the complex interactions between auditory and visual language perception and production in bilingual populations. This project has major implications for models of bilinguals’ language production and perception, which in turn have important implications for education and social policies. Moreover, the project has high relevance for basic research as it is the first to explore long-lasting literacy-induced phonemic recalibration.
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Coordinator

BCBL BASQUE CENTER ON COGNITION BRAIN AND LANGUAGE

Address

Paseo Mikeletegi 69 2
20009 San Sebastian

Spain

Activity type

Research Organisations

EU Contribution

€ 172 932,48

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 843533

Status

Grant agreement signed

  • Start date

    1 January 2020

  • End date

    31 December 2021

Funded under:

H2020-EU.1.3.2.

  • Overall budget:

    € 172 932,48

  • EU contribution

    € 172 932,48

Coordinated by:

BCBL BASQUE CENTER ON COGNITION BRAIN AND LANGUAGE

Spain