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Voice onset time (VOT) - an aspect of stop production, is known to be constrained by a number of word-level and speaker-level factors. While there has been extensive experimental research on VOT production, few studies have situated this aspect in naturally-occurring spontaneous speech. The goal of this study is twofold. First, we determine if the factors that affect VOT production in experimental studies conducted in speech laboratories are also relevant for VOT production in spontaneous speech. Second, we explore the possible interactions among those factors. In this study, a spoken corpus consisting of clips from a reality TV show was analyzed using a semi-automatic VOT measurement method that allows for the quick and reliable processing of large numbers of VOT measures. The findings confirm the effects of word-level constraints in the expected directions; however, we find negligible effects of speakers' individual differences, namely speech rate and speaker’s gender, on VOTs. The current study sheds new light on a range of factors that were previously identified as significantly affecting the patterning of VOTs found in experimentally-elicited data.
voiced onset time, stop production, spontaneous speech
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