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Fundamental frequency range in the bilingual repertoire of traditional and new Welsh speakers

Morris, Jonathan ORCID: 2022. Fundamental frequency range in the bilingual repertoire of traditional and new Welsh speakers. International Journal of Bilingualism 26 (5) , pp. 564-583. 10.1177/13670069221110

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Aims: This research aims to examine cross-linguistic interaction and intra-linguistic variation in the Welsh and English of bilingual speakers in two areas of north Wales. Specifically, I present an analysis of fundamental frequency range (FFR) and examine both cross-linguistic and intra-linguistic differences in speech production between bilinguals from Welsh-speaking and English-speaking homes. Design: Data were collected from Welsh–English bilinguals aged 16–18 in the areas surrounding the Welsh-dominant town of Caernarfon (Gwynedd) and the English-dominant town of Mold (Flintshire). The sample was equally stratified by speaker gender and home language. Data: The data were elicited from a reading passage task and were analysed acoustically. Measures of level and span were taken. Data were analysed using conditional inference trees and random forests. Findings: The results of the analysis of FFR in Caernarfon and Mold revealed no significant differences between English and Welsh. In Mold, gender was the only significant predictor of FFR across all measures. In Caernarfon, home-language differences in level were found in female speakers’ data only, and gender differences in span were found in the speech of those from English-speaking homes. Originality: The study contributes to previous studies of traditional and new speakers in minority-language contexts by examining both languages in the speakers’ repertoires. Specifically, it is the first study to examine the regional and home-language variation in FFR of bilingual speakers. Implications: The results highlight (1) the importance of community-specific patterns in minority-language contexts and (2) the way in which linguistic background might interact with other social factors in situations of long-term language contact. The results imply that a more holistic approach to examinations of variation in such contexts will be fruitful.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Welsh
Additional Information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License (
Publisher: SAGE
ISSN: 1367-0069
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 27 November 2020
Date of Acceptance: 25 November 2020
Last Modified: 08 May 2023 18:34

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