Release Bursts in English Word-Final Voiceless Stops Produced by Native English and Korean Adults and Children

Academic Article


  • Abstract The aim of this study was to evaluate the acquisition of statistical properties ofa second language (L2). Stop consonants are permitted in word-final position inboth English and Korean, but they are variably released in English and invariablyunreleased in Korean. Native Korean (K) adults and children living in North Americaand age-matched native English (E) speakers repeated English words ending inreleased tokens of /t/ and /k/ at two times separated by 1.2 years. The judgments ofE-speaking listeners were used to determine if the stimuli were repeated with audiblerelease bursts. Experiments 1 and 2 revealed fewer final releases for K thanE adults, and fewer releases for /t/ (but not /k/) for K than E children. Nearly all /t/ and/k/ tokens were heard as intended in experiment 3, which evaluated intelligibility.However, the K adults’ /k/ tokens were identified with less certainty than theE adults’. Taken together, the results suggested that noncontrastive (i.e., statistical)properties of an L2 can be learned by children, and to a somewhat lesser extent byadults.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 12510950
  • Author List

  • Tsukada K; Birdsong D; Mack M; Sung H; Bialystok E; Flege J
  • Start Page

  • 67
  • End Page

  • 83
  • Volume

  • 61
  • Issue

  • 2-3