15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-15)

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003

Prevocalic Boundaries in the Speech of German-English Bilinguals

Nicole Whitworth

University of Leeds, UK

In German the juncture between words or syllables is more often than not marked by a glottal articulation when the second word or stem begins with a vowel. English on the other hand tends towards linking successive words or syllables with a supra-glottal articulation. This study investigates prevocalic boundary markers in the speech of German-English late and early bilinguals. The results show that the majority of early bilinguals realize separate patterns for German and English. Those who do not tend to produce insertion rates which are closer to German than English L1 patterns. The late bilinguals fall into two groups. The English native speakers produce German patterns in their L2 speech, whereas the German native speakers do not manage to lower glottal stop insertion to native English levels.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Whitworth, Nicole (2003): "Prevocalic boundaries in the speech of German-English bilinguals", In ICPhS-15, 1093-1096.