Phonemic awareness in an oral German-origin Brazilian language: a study of Hunsrückisch and German bilinguals

Bernardo K. Limberger, Aline Fay Azevedo, Evelyn C. Ferstl, Augusto Buchweitz

Abstract


Phonemic awareness is the ability to notice and manipulate language sounds in their base form (phonemes). It is associated with emerging literacy skills and predictive of skilled reading. The aim of the present study was to investigate phonemic awareness in German and its association with speaking a German-origin, but predominantly unwritten language. We investigated speakers of Hunsrückisch, a Brazilian minority language predominantly used in its spoken form. Participants were literate Brazilian Portuguese speakers who spoke Hunsrückisch and German or Hunsrückisch only. The results show faster, more accurate performance in the phonemic awareness task among participants who spoke Hunsrückisch and German, relative to those who spoke Hunsrückisch only. Participants who spoke Hunsrückisch only were able to perform the phonemic awareness tasks but having learned to read and write in German allowed for faster, more accurate performance, especially in relation to pseudowords.


Keywords


Phonemic awareness; Reading; Writing; Multilingualism; Hunsrückisch

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5007/2175-8026.2019v72n3p427

Copyright (c) 2019 Bernardo K. Limberger, Aline Fay Azevedo, Evelyn C. Ferstl, Augusto Buchweitz

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