A cross-language study of stop aspiration: English and Mandarin Chinese

Li-Mei Chen, Kuan Yi Chao, Jui Feng Peng, Jing Chen Yang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Citation (Scopus)


Voice Onset Time (VOT) has been considered as one of the crucial methods for examining the timing of voicing in stop consonants in many languages. This study was designed to examine VOT production for phonetically voiceless stops of Mandarin and English by native Chinese speakers. Thirty-six Taiwanese Chinese speakers participated in this study. The results indicates that: 1) Based on the three universal categories proposed by Lisker and Abramson (1964)[1], for phonetically voiceless stops, Mandarin and English occupies the same place along the VOT continuum; 2) The mean VOT value for the apical stop /t/ is slightly lower than the mean value for the labial stop /p/. This does not conform to the general agreement, that is, the further back the place of articulation the longer VOT.; 3) The difference between the mean VOT values of English /p/ and /t/ produced by Chinese speakers is subtle, whereas the difference reaches significance for native English speakers. Therefore, it is suggested that first language (i.e. Chinese) could be a crucial factor affecting L2 (i.e. English) productions. Moreover, variations, both within and between speakers, could be further examined in future studies.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings - 10th IEEE International Symposium on Multimedia, ISM 2008
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Dec 1
Event10th IEEE International Symposium on Multimedia, ISM 2008 - Berkeley, CA, United States
Duration: 2008 Dec 152008 Dec 17

Publication series

NameProceedings - 10th IEEE International Symposium on Multimedia, ISM 2008


Other10th IEEE International Symposium on Multimedia, ISM 2008
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityBerkeley, CA

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Cite this