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

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003

The Speech of Early Bilinguals: Evidences from a Study on VOT of English and Portuguese Voiceless Plosives

Paulina D. Artimonte Rocca

Pontificia Universidade Católica de Sao Paulo, Brazil

This research investigates early bilinguals' production of voiceless plosives in both English and Portuguese as far as VOT lag is concerned, in order to detect if subtle differences in the phonetic realization of a phonological contrast that characterize monolingual's production occur in the speech of two different groups of early bilinguals: early bilinguals with bilingual parents and early bilinguals whose families do not speak English. The speech material consisted of 3 Portuguese and 3 English words in carrier sentences. The recordings were submitted to acoustic analyses and the results obtained received statistical treatment. Both groups present significant differences from the measures taken as reference for monolingual speakers of English and Portuguese. Nevertheless, VOT measurements displayed by the group with bilingual families present a significant correlation that is absent in the other group of bilinguals. The results are discussed taking into consideration theoretical principals of language acquisition and language processing by bilinguals.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Rocca, Paulina D. Artimonte (2003): "The speech of early bilinguals: evidences from a study on VOT of English and Portuguese voiceless plosives", In ICPhS-15, 1599-1602.