This chapter reviews theories and research about phonetic category formation in bilingual children. Investigating phonetic categories provides us with a way to answer one of the longstanding theoretical issues in bilingualism, that is, whether bilingual children possess one versus two linguistic systems in the learning of their respective languages. In this chapter, theoretical backgrounds of phonetic categories in bilingual adults and children are reviewed. Then, empirical evidence showing phonetic categories in bilingual children is summarized. Finally, a development model of phonetic category formation in simultaneous and sequential bilingual children is proposed. Based on the model, detailed phonetic categories do not form across-the-board and bilingual children may invoke multi-dimensional representations of phonetic categories.
Part of the book: Multilingualism and Bilingualism