The effects of length of residence (LOR) on voice onset time (VOT)

  • Kim, Mi-Ryoung (Department of Practical Foreign Languages, Korea Soongsil Cyber University)
  • Received : 2020.08.24
  • Accepted : 2020.10.14
  • Published : 2020.12.31


Changes in the first language (L1) sound system as a result of acquiring a second language (L2) (i.e., phonetic drift) have received considerable attention from a variety of speakers, settings, and environments. Less attention has been given to phonetic drift in adult speakers' L2 learning as their length of residence in America (LOR) increases. This study examines the effects of LOR on voice onset time (VOT) in L1 Korean stops. Three different groups of Korean adult learners of L2 English were compared to assess how malleable their L1 representations are in terms of LOR and whether there is any relationship between L1 change and L2 acquisition. The results showed that the effect of LOR was linguistically unimportant in the production of Korean stops. However, VOT merger as evidence of sound change in Korean stops were robust in the speech production of most of the female speakers across the groups. The results suggest that L2 English may not be the primary cause of L1 sound change. For generalizability, further study is necessary to see whether other acoustic cues show a similar pattern.



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