The influence of second language learning on speech production by Greek/English bilinguals

Date created: 

This study examined the voice onset time (VOT) of Greek and English voiceless stops (/p/, /t/, /k/) as produced by 20 late Greek/English bilinguals residing in the Greater Vancouver area. VOTs were examined in initially stressed disyllabic words of CVCV structure in five vowels contexts. The participants read 15 stimuli in Greek and English within a carrier phrase and three English sentences that were evaluated for accentedness. Statistical analyses indicated that the bilinguals produced intermediate English VOTs that were longer than those of Greek and shorter than those of English monolinguals. They distinguished stop categories in terms of VOT in the two languages, but not in all environments. Although English and Greek VOTs were correlated, English VOT values for /p/ and /t/ did not differ significantly, while the Greek values did. Accentedness ratings were correlated with age of learning English (0.67), chronological age (0.56) and length of residence in Canada (0.54), but not with English VOTs. These findings of the first study of Greek/English bilinguals indicate that the relationship between L1 and L2 language systems is bidirectional and more complicated than has been portrayed so far.

The author has placed restrictions on the PDF copy of this thesis. The PDF is not printable nor copyable. If you would like the SFU Library to attempt to contact the author to get permission to print a copy, please email your request to
Document type: 
Copyright remains with the author
Department of Linguistics - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.A.)