Rate effects on Southern American English VOT

Paul A. Morris


This study examines the effect of speaking rate on VOT durations of initial stops in Southern American English (SAE). English is claimed to have a two-way contrast between long-lag (fortis) and short-lag (lenis) stops, but lenis stops in SAE have been shown to be produced with prevoicing rather than short-lag VOT. This study examines whether SAE lenis stops are specified for privative voice or if prevoicing is an example of contrastive emphasis. Similar to rate effects found in other languages, the data here support the conclusion that SAE does have phonologically specified privative voice in the lenis stop.


rate effects; English; Southern American English; voice onset time (VOT)

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.3765/plsa.v3i1.4310

Copyright (c) 2018 Paul A. Morris

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