4th International Conference on Spoken Language Processing

Philadelphia, PA, USA
October 3-6, 1996

The Acquisition of Voiceless Stops in the Interlanguage of Second Language Learners of English and Spanish

Marie Fellbaum

Australia National University, Department of Linguistics, Canberra, ACT, Australia

This paper presents the preliminary results from work in progress of a paired study of the acquisition of voiceless stops by Spanish speakers learning English and American English speakers learning Spanish. For this study the hypothesis was that the American speakers would have no difficulty suppressing the aspiration in Spanish unaspirated stops; the Spanish speakers would have difficulty acquiring the aspiration necessary for English voiceless stops, according to Eckman's Markedness Differential Hypothesis. The null hypothesis was proved. The results also reveal that a simple report of means will not distinguish the speakers and the respective language learning situation; measurements must also include the range of acceptability of VOT for phonetic segments.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Fellbaum, Marie (1996): "The acquisition of voiceless stops in the interlanguage of second language learners of English and Spanish", In ICSLP-1996, 1648-1651.