chapter  26
Voice Onset Time in Normal Speakers of a German Dialect: Effects of Age, Gender and Verbal Material
WithGabriel Scharf, Harald Masur
Pages 14

Voice onset time (VOT) is defined as the time span between release of oral constriction and beginning of periodic vocal fold vibration in the production of stop-vowel sequences. In most languages, including German, VOT plays a primary role in the distinction between voiced and voiceless plosives (Lisker & Abramson, 1964; Jessen, 1998). In most of these languages, the VOT values for voiced and unvoiced stops are produced in discrete duration ranges that correspond to the voicing categories. Even though boundaries between the contrasting categories along the continuum of VOT vary from language to language it is claimed that the VOT categories “voiced” and “unvoiced” are separated by a range of times in which no production occurs (Auzou et al., 2000, p. 137). We will call this the ‘illegal range’. Lisker and Abramson (1967) qualify that claim by saying that it is true for initial stops in citation forms of words whereas in running speech the separation might be less sharp.