ERIC Number: ED338044
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Jul
Reference Count: N/A
The Acquisition of VOT: Is It Language-Dependent?
A study investigated the acquisition of the phonemic feature/voice/ and, more specifically, voice onset time (VOT), in Hindi and English. Subjects were 20 monolingual children aged 2 to 6 from each of the 2 language groups, divided into 5 age groups, and 10 adults from each language group. Flash cards depicting minimally contrasting sets of words, differing only in the voicing of initial velar stop, were presented to each subject. The goal was to obtain five repetitions of each token from each speaker. Data were digitized and subjected to computer analysis. Lead and lag times were measured for each repetition of each token. The English data for post-release aspiration times confirmed earlier researchers' findings. Child and adult mean times did not differ substantially. The children had acquired a permanent voicing distinction by age 2. The Hindi children's mean values were not as adult-like as those of English-learners. It is concluded that there may be a universal pattern of VOT development that depends on the extent of differences in mean VOT times between adult target phonemes, and apparent age differences in phonemic distinctions may actually result from the languages' different phonetic categories. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Voice Onset Time
Note: In: Papers and Reports on Child Language Development, Number Twenty-nine. California, Stanford University, 1990. p28-37.