alexa Voice onset time of voiceless bilabial and velar stops in 3-year-old bilingual children and their age-matched monolingual peers.

Journal of Phonetics & Audiology

Author(s): FabianoSmith L, Bunta F

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Abstract This study investigates aspects of voice onset time (VOT) of voiceless bilabial and velar stops in monolingual and bilingual children. VOT poses a special challenge for bilingual Spanish- and English-speaking children because although this VOT distinction exists in both languages, the values differ for the same contrast across Spanish and English. Twenty-four 3-year-olds participated in this study (8 bilingual Spanish-English, 8 monolingual Spanish and 8 monolingual English). The VOT productions of /p/ and /k/ in syllable-initial stressed singleton position were compared across participants. Non-parametric statistical analyses were performed to examine differences (1) between monolinguals and bilinguals and (2) between English and Spanish. The main findings of the study were that monolingual and bilingual children generally differed on VOT in English, but not in Spanish. No statistically significant differences were found between the Spanish and the English VOT of the bilingual children, but the VOT values did differ significantly for monolingual Spanish- versus monolingual English-speaking participants. Our findings were interpreted in terms of Flege's Speech Learning Model, finding possible evidence for equivalence classification.
This article was published in Clin Linguist Phon and referenced in Journal of Phonetics & Audiology

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