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ERIC Number: EJ1087333
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Dec
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0018-2133
On Voice-Onset Time as a Cue to Foreign Accent in Spanish: Native and Nonnative Perceptions
Schoonmaker-Gates, Elena
Hispania, v98 n4 p779-791 Dec 2015
Although previous research has documented the relationship between voice-onset time (VOT) and the production of foreign accent in English and Spanish, less is known about the role of this cue in perception. VOT refers to the aspiration that occurs between the release of a stop consonant and the beginning of the following segment. In Spanish and English, voiceless stop VOTs differ cross-linguistically in the duration of the aspiration. This study presents a quantitative analysis of VOT as it is associated with the degree of foreign accent perceived by 26 native speakers of Spanish and 160 native English speakers learning Spanish. The results show that both listener groups perceived and used VOT duration differences in their judgments of degree of foreign accent in Spanish, although nonnative listeners' assessments varied according to their course enrollment. The findings suggest that language learners have a concept of what constitutes native-like Spanish and native-like VOTs in Spanish, information that they draw on in judging foreign accent. These results have implications for language instructors and adult language learners as well.
American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese, Inc. 900 Ladd Road, Walled Lake, MI 48390. Tel: 248-960-2180; Fax: 248-960-9570; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Spain
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A