Voice onset time (VOT) of L3 Spanish /ptk/ by multilingual heritage speakers of Ukrainian and Polish
Keywords:L3 PHONOLOGY, HERITAGE LANGUAGE PHONOLOGY, CROSS-LINGUISTIC INFLUENCE, VOICE ONSET TIME (VOT), L3 LEARNING
This study provides an acoustic analysis of voice onset time (VOT) of voiceless stops /ptk/ in Spanish, produced by heritage speakers (HSs) of Ukrainian and of Polish who are English-dominant and beginner or intermediate learners of Spanish as a third language (L3). Given that both Ukrainian and Polish, like Spanish and unlike English, are characterized by short-lag VOT, data were collected from six Ukrainian HSs and 11 Polish HSs in their heritage language (HL), in English, and in Spanish to compare potential effects of the HL on L3 VOT production. VOT was analyzed in three task types. The goals were: 1) to determine whether VOT values produced in Spanish by Ukrainian and Polish HSs are more reflective of VOTs in the HL or in English, and 2) to determine the effect of task type on VOT. Data show that Ukrainian and Polish HSs’ VOTs in Spanish are shorter than those of L2 Spanish learners whose L1 is English, indicating a HL rather than dominant language influence on L3 VOT. Results suggest that the most crucial factors in L3 phonological acquisition are: 1) structural similarity between HL and L3, and 2) L3 proficiency (not language dominance). VOT was also affected by task type: like L1 Spanish speakers, VOT of Ukrainian HSs increases as task formality increases. This paper fills research gaps in HL and L3 phonetics/phonology as to the effects of a HL on the acquisition of subsequent sound systems in adulthood.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Margarita Bondarenko
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