NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED554655
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 194
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3030-7019-8
A Variationist Account of Voice Onset Time among Bilingual West Indians in Panama
Lamy, Delano Sydney
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Florida
The present study is concerned with language contact between Creole English and Spanish spoken by bilingual West Indians who live in Panama City, Panama. The goal of this study is to examine the speech patterns of monolinguals of Creole English and Spanish and Spanish-Creole English bilinguals in the local communities of this region, by employing the comparative variationist method. This method allows us to tease apart internally motivated change from contact-induced change (Poplack & Levey, 2010) occurring in bilingual speech. A statistical comparison of the factors contributing to voice onset time (VOT) of the voiceless dental plosive /t/ in four speech modes addresses the possibility of phonetic permeability due to contact in this region. A total of 2128 occurrences of /t/ were included in the analysis, with a sample extracted from monolingual Spanish, monolingual Creole English, and Creole English and Spanish of bilingual speakers. The VOT measurements were done using "Praat" (Boersma & Weenink, 2006). In order to pinpoint linguistic patterns that would aid in ascertaining variation and change with regard to VOT, a linear regression model with mixed effects was incorporated using "Rbrul" (Johnson, 2009). Based on the hierarchies of the constraints that condition VOT duration, a series of inter-speaker comparisons were performed to determine whether or not bilingual speech had undergone change, and the putative source of the change. Also, an intra-speaker comparison was performed to test Flege's (1995a) Speech Learning Model, in which he claims that early bilinguals commonly have two separate phonetic systems. Through this comparison, a Variationist Speech Learning Model (VSLM) was proposed. The inter-speaker comparisons showed that when bilinguals spoke Spanish, both internal and contact-induced changes were evidenced. When bilinguals spoke Creole English, only internal change was noticed. The intra-speaker comparison revealed that the bilingual West Indians had two separate phonetic systems; however, the variationist methodology made visible signs of convergence. Interestingly, this convergence showed that bilinguals moved towards monolingual Creole English norms. A qualitative analysis of their sociolinguistic interviews revealed that factors such as language attitudes, language loyalty and maintenance, and social identity play an important role in this language contact situation. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Panama