Lexical stress assignment and reading skills of Russian heritage children

Sviatlana Karpava


The present study is focused on language proficiency, reading skills and lexical stress assignment by Russian–Cypriot Greek bilingual children, Russian heritage speakers in Cyprus. Longitudinal data consists of the oral corpus of reading aloud recordings. It was found that reading skills of Russian–CG bilingual children develop with age and schooling. There is an increase of the reading speed (WPM) and decrease in lexical stress errors. Stress errors of bilingual children are both developmental and due to L1 transfer from CG into Russian. The most frequent stress errors (word level), while reading, were penultimate instead of final, penultimate instead of antepenultimate and final instead of penultimate. Stress in Greek and CG is lexical and it is marked in orthography (Malikouti-Drachman and Drachman 1989; Revithiadou 1999; Apoussidou 2003; Revithiadou 2007; van Oostendorp 2012), which is not the case in Russian, where stress assignment is quite unpredictable (Bondarko 1998; Kerek and Niemi, 2009). As these children have a limited input to their heritage language, they might have difficulty to develop linguistic competence required for correct lexical stress assignment and they either transfer from CG or focus mainly on the sequential phonological reading due to the lack well-developed visual anticipation ability.


 DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-19

Cite as: Karpava, S. (2020) Lexical stress assignment and reading skills of Russian heritage children. Proc. 10th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2020, 91-95, DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-19.


@inproceedings{Karpava2020,
  author={Sviatlana Karpava},
  title={{Lexical stress assignment and reading skills of Russian heritage children}},
  year=2020,
  booktitle={Proc. 10th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2020},
  pages={91--95},
  doi={10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-19},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-19}
}