Phonological Production in Young Speakers of Cantonese as a Heritage Language

Ting Yan Rachel Kan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


This study investigates the phonological production of 50 heritage speakers of Cantonese aged 5–11 in the USA. They were compared to 12 majority language speaker peers in Hong Kong via ratings from first language adult speakers. Overall, the heritage speakers were rated as less native-like and less comprehensible than the children in Hong Kong, although they received higher scores from raters speaking the same variety of Cantonese (i.e., Guangzhou Cantonese, vs. Hong Kong Cantonese). None of the tested language background factors, including age of testing, had a predictive effect on the heritage speakers’ scores. The results illustrate the divergence and heterogeneity of heritage phonology compared to homeland varieties.
Original languageEnglish
Article number32339077
JournalLanguage and Speech
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020


  • Cantonese
  • accent ratings
  • heritage speakers
  • phonological production

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing

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