Multiple bursts in non-native and native English: Evidence from twelve L1s




multiple bursts, voiceless plosives, voice onset time measurement, non-native English, native English


Voiceless plosives are frequently produced with multiple bursts (MBs), a phenomenon that has substantial implications for voice onset time measurement (VOT) of these consonants. MBs have been noted in previous research, but have not been systematically quantified. The objective of this study was to analyze MBs in non-native English (with data from twelve first languages) and native English, and to discern the effect of MBs on VOT measurement. Further, the potential effects of place of articulation (PoA), gender, speech rate, and age on MBs were explored. Results showed that VOT measurement method in the presence of MBs had a significant effect on the VOT values obtained for the plosives. In addition, MBs were influenced to a large extent by PoA, but not by gender, speech rate, or age. Comparisons between non-native English and native English revealed some significant differences, but in both varieties the analyses of MBs showed overall similar tendencies.


Download data is not yet available.


Asensi, L. Portolés, S., & del Río, A. (1997). Barra de explosión, VOT y frecuencia de las oclusivas sordas del castellano. Estudios de Fonética Experimental, IX, 221-242. /

Barrera-Pardo, D. (2022). Measurement of the VOT of voiceless plosives: Multiple bursts in Western Andalusian Spanish. Estudios de Fonética Experimental, XXXI,81-95.

Bóna, J., & Auszmann, A. (2014). Voice onset time in language acquisition: Data from Hungarian. In S. Fuchs, M. Grice, A. Hermes, L. Lancia, & D. Mücke (Eds.), Proceedings of the 10th International Seminar on Speech Production (ISSP) (pp. 41-44). Cologne, Germany. /

Brinca, L. Araújo, L., Nogueira, P., & Gil, C. (2016). Voice onset time characteristics of voiceless stops produced by children with European Portuguese as mother tongue. Ampersand, 3, 137-142.

Cohen, J. (1988). Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences. 2nd ed. Lawrence Erlbaum.

Cohen, J. (1990). Things I have learned (so far). American Psychologist, 45(12), 1304-1312.

Cumming, G. (2012). Understanding the new statistics: Effect sizes, confidence intervals, and meta-analysis. Routledge.

Davis, K. (1994). Stop voicing in Hindi. Journal of Phonetics, 22, 177-193.

Docherty, G. J. (1992). The timing of voicing in British English obstruents. Foris.

Ethnologue. (2022). Available online at, Accessed on 2 February 2023.

Fischer, E., & Goberman, A. M. (2010). Voice onset time in Parkinson disease. Journal of Communication Disorders, 43(1), 21-34. PMid:19717164

Flege, J. E. (1981). The phonological basis of foreign accent: A hypothesis. TESOL Quarterly, 15(4), 443-455.

Foulkes, P., Docherty, G, & Jones, M. (2010). Analyzing stops. In M. Di Paolo, & M. Yaeger-Dror (Eds.), Sociophonetics: A student's guide (pp. 58-71). Routledge.

Gass, S., Loewen, S., & Plonsky, L. (2021). Coming of age: the past, present, and future of quantitative SLA research. Language Teaching, 54, 245-258.

Gráczi, T. E., & Kohári, A. (2014). Multiple bursts in Hungarian voiceless plosives and VOT measurements. In S. Fuchs, M. Grice, A. Hermes, L. Lancia, & D. Mücke (Eds.), Proceedings of the 10th International Seminar on Speech Production (ISSP) (pp. 158-161). Cologne, Germany. /

Hayward, K. (2000). Experimental phonetics. Pearson Education.

Imbrie, A. K. K. (2005). Acoustical study of the development of stop consonants in children. [Doctoral dissertation]. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States of America.

Kaňok, M., & Novotný, M. (2019). Effect of age and gender on articulation of voiced and voiceless stop consonants in Czech. Lekar a Technika: Clinician and Technology, 49(3), 97-101.

Kazemzadeh, A., Tepperman, J., Silva, J., You, H., Lee, S., Alwan, A., & Narayanan, S. (2006). Automatic detection of voice onset time for use in pronunciation assessment. INTERSPEECH 2006, n.p.

Keating, P. A., Westbury, J. R., & Stevens, K. N. (1980). Mechanisms of stop-consonant release for different places of articulation. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 67, S93.

Kopkalli-Yavuz, H., Mavis, I., & Akyldiz, D. (2011). Analysis of VOT in Turkish speakers with aphasia. Clinical Linguistics & Phonetics, 25(4), 287-301. PMid:21091206

Ladefoged, P. (2003). Phonetic data analysis: An introduction to fieldwork and instrumental techniques. Blackwell.

Ladefoged, P., & Johnson, K. (2015). A course in phonetics. 7th ed. Cengage Learning

Ladefoged, P., & Maddieson, I. (1996). The sounds of the world's languages. Blackwell.

Lavoie, L.M. (2001). Consonant strength: Phonological patterns and phonetic manifestations. Routledge.

Lousada, M. Jesus, L.M.T., & Hall, A. (2010). Temporal acoustic correlates of the voicing contrast in European Portuguese stops. Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 40(3), 261-275.

Maddieson, I. (1984). Patterns of sounds. Cambridge University Press.

Major, R. C. (2001). Foreign accent: The ontogeny and phylogeny of second language phonology. Lawrence Erlbaum.

Michelon Melo, R., Bolli Mota, H., Lisbôa Mezzomo, C., de Castro Brasil, B., Lovatto, L, & Arzeno, L. (2014). Acoustic characterization of the voicing of stop phones in Brazilian Portuguese. Revista CEFAC, 16(2), 487-499.

Millasseau, J., Bruggeman, L., Yuen, I., & Demuth, K. (2019). Durational cues to place and voicing contrasts in Australian English word-initial stops. In S. Calhoun, P. Escudero, M. Tabain, & P. Warren (Eds.), Proceedings of the 19th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (pp. 3759-3762). Canberra: Australasian Speech Science and Technology Association Inc.

Moran, S., & McCloy, D. (2019). Phoible 2.0. Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. Available online at, Accessed on 21 May 2023.

Novotný, M., Pospíšil, J, Čmejla, R., & Rusz, J. (2015). Automatic detection of voice onset time in dysarthric speech. In 2015 IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing (ICASSP) (pp. 4340-4344).IEEE.

Parveen, S., & Goberman, A.M. (2012). Presence of stop bursts and multiple bursts in younger and older adults. Asia Pacific Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing, 15(4), 265-275.

Plauché, M. (2001). Acoustic cues in the directionality of stop consonant confusions [Doctoral dissertation]. University of California, Berkeley, United States of America.

Plonsky, L., & Oswald, F. L. (2014). How big is "big"? Interpreting effect sizes in L2 research. Language Learning, 64(4), 878-912.

Repp, B.H., and Lin, H-B. (1989). Acoustic properties and perception of stop consonant release transients. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 85(1), 379-396. PMid:2921420

Sirsa, H., & Redford, M.A. (2013). The effects of native language on Indian English sounds and timing patterns. Journal of Phonetics, 41, 393-406. PMid:24860200 PMCid:PMC4028080

Song, J. Y., Demuth, K., & Shattuck-Hufnagel, S. (2012). The development of acoustic cues to coda contrasts in young children learning American English. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 131(4), 3036-3050. PMid:22501078 PMCid:PMC3339504

Sönmez, K., Plauché, M., Shriberg, E., & Franco, H. (2000). Consonant discrimination in elicited and spontaneous speech: A case for signal-adaptive front ends in ASR. Sixth International Conference on Spoken Language Processing, ICSLP 2000 / INTERSPEECH 2000. Beijing, China.

Sučková, M. (2020). First language attrition in voice onset times in Anglophone expatriates residing in the Czech Republic. Brno Studies in English, 46(2), 47-66.

Torres, M. I., & Iparraguirre, P. (1996). Acoustic parameters for place of articulation identification and classification of Spanish unvoiced stops. Speech Communication, 18, 369-379.

Wang, Y-T., Kent, R. D., Duffy, J. R., Thomas, J. E., & Weismer, G. (2004). Alternating motion rate as an index of speech motor disorder in traumatic brain injury. Clinical Linguistics & Phonetics, 18(1), 57-84. PMid:15053268

Wayland, R. (2019). Phonetics: A practical introduction. Cambridge University Press.

Weinberger, S. (2015).Speech Accent Archive. George Mason University. Retrieved from

Whalen, D. H., DiCanio, C., & Dockum, R. (2022). Phonetic documentation in three collections: Topics and evolution. Journal of the Phonetic International Association, 52(1), 95-121. PMid:35400757 PMCid:PMC8992502

Yang, J. (2018). Development of stop consonants in three- to six-year-old Mandarin-speaking children. Journal of Child Language, 45, 1091-1115. PMid:29667563

Yanushevskaya, I., & Bunčić, D. (2015). Russian. Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 45(2), 221-228.

Zampini, M. (2008). L2 speech production research. In J. H. E. & M. Zampini (Eds.), Phonology and second language acquisition (pp. 219-249). John Benjamins.



How to Cite

Barrera-Pardo, D. (2023). Multiple bursts in non-native and native English: Evidence from twelve L1s. Loquens, 10(1-2), e100.