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Title: On the cognitive basis of contact-induced sound change : vowel merger reversal in Shanghainese
Authors: Yao, Y 
Chang, CB
Keywords: Bilingual processing
Crosslinguistic influence
Language contact
Merger reversal
Phonological similarity
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: Linguistic Society of America
Source: Language, 2016, v. 92, no. 2, p. 433-467 How to cite?
Journal: Language 
Abstract: This study investigates the source and status of a recent sound change in Shanghainese (Wu, Sinitic) that has been attributed to language contact with Mandarin. The change involves two vowels, /e/ and /ɛ/, reported to be merged three decades ago but produced distinctly in contemporary Shanghainese. Results of two production experiments show that speaker age, language mode (monolingual Shanghainese vs. bilingual Shanghainese-Mandarin), and crosslinguistic phonological similarity all influence the production of these vowels. These findings provide evidence for language contact as a linguistic means of merger reversal and are consistent with the view that contact phenomena originate from cross-language interaction within the bilingual mind.
ISSN: 0097-8507
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