VOT productions of word-initial stops in Mandarin and English: A cross-language study

Li Mei Chen, Kuan Yi Chao, Jui Feng Peng

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Voice Onset Time (VOT) is considered as one of the best methods for examining the timing of voicing in stop consonants and has been applied in the study of many languages. The present study is designed to examine VOT production for phonetically voiceless stops in Mandarin and English by native Chinese speakers. Thirty-six Taiwanese Chinese speakers recruited from National Cheng Kung University participated in this study. The results indicate the following. 1) Based on the three universal categories proposed by Lisker and Abramson (1964), for phonetically voiceless stops, Mandarin and English occupy 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 consensus, which states that the further back the place of articulation the longer the VOT. Very similar findings were also observed in previous studies. 3) The difference between the mean VOT values of the English /p/ and /t/ produced by Chinese speakers was subtle, while it reached significance for native English speakers. This suggests that a first language could be a crucial factor in L2 production. Future studies might examine variations in L2 production both for the same persons over time and for different speakers.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Dec 1
Event19th Conference on Computational Linguistics and Speech Processing, ROCLING 2007 - Taipei, Taiwan
Duration: 2007 Sep 62007 Sep 7

Other

Other19th Conference on Computational Linguistics and Speech Processing, ROCLING 2007
CountryTaiwan
CityTaipei
Period07-09-0607-09-07

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Speech and Hearing

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    Chen, L. M., Chao, K. Y., & Peng, J. F. (2007). VOT productions of word-initial stops in Mandarin and English: A cross-language study. Paper presented at 19th Conference on Computational Linguistics and Speech Processing, ROCLING 2007, Taipei, Taiwan.