The Voice Onset Time Productions in Monolingual and Bilingual Children with Cochlear Implants



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The voice onset time (VOT) values of word-initial, singleton, stressed voiced and voiceless stop consonants were compared in the productions of monolingual English speaking and bilingual Spanish-English speaking children with cochlear implants. The study also compared the stop VOT values of the Spanish and English productions in the bilingual children with cochlear implants. Target word samples were elicited using line drawings from sixteen prelingually deaf children with cochlear implants with an age range of 4;6 to 10;11 with length of cochlear implant use ranging from 2;7 to 8;4. The participants were separated into two groups: eight monolingual English children and eight bilingual Spanish-English children. A main effect for voicing and place of articulation was found between the monolingual English and bilingual participants’ English productions. A significant two way interaction between language and voicing was found in the comparison of the bilingual participants’ English and Spanish VOT values. Furthermore, possible evidence of deceleration was found in the significantly shorter VOT values of /p/ in the bilingual speakers speaking English compared to their monolingual peers, which could be attributed to the monolingual English participants’ seemingly long values of /p/. Evidence to support a variation of the acceleration hypothesis was found in the similar English values of /g/, /t/, and /k/ between the monolingual and bilingual participants with significant contrast to the bilingual participants’ Spanish productions. The bilingual participants’ English /b/ and /d/ productions were similar to their monolingual peers, with no significant contrast between their English and Spanish productions. This could be due to the transfer of the rules of English to their Spanish productions of those phonemes.



Children, Voice onset time (VOT), Bilingual, Bilingualism, Monolingualism, Phonology, Cochlear implants, Spanish language, English