LEXICAL FACTORS AND SEGMENTAL ACCURACY IN SECOND LANGUAGE SPEECH PRODUCTION

Academic Article

Abstract

  • Voice onset time (VOT) was measured in the production of /t/ in the initial position of 60 English words spoken by native English (NE) speakers and native Spanish (NS) speakers who began learning English before or after the age of 21 years. The subjects rated the words for familiarity, age of acquisition, imageability, and relatedness to word(s) in the Spanish lexicon. The subjects in all three groups showed two well-known phonetic effects: They produced longer VOT values in the context of high than nonhigh vowels, and longer VOT in one- than in two-syllable words. As expected, the NS subjects who learned English prior to the age of 21 years judged the English words to be more familiar and more like a Spanish word than did the subjects who began learning English later in life. Also, many but not all of the NS subjects produced /t/ with shorter VOT values than did the NE subjects. However, regression analyses showed that none of the lexical factors mentioned above or the text frequency of the 60 English words examined affected the NS subjects' VOT values. Thus, variation in the accuracy with which NS subjects produce English /t/ must be accounted for by factors other than the lexical status of the words in which /t/ occurs.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Flege JE; Frieda EM; Walley AC; Randazza LA
  • Start Page

  • 155
  • End Page

  • 187
  • Volume

  • 20
  • Issue

  • 2