This investigation of VOT (Voice Onset Time) of stop consonants in Montenegrinaccented English started as linguistic curiosity when Abat realized in Prof. Koffi’s LabPhon (Laboratory Phonology course) that she produced [b, d, g] with negative VOT while many of her American classmates and other L2 students in the course did not. She recorded another female Montenegrin speaker of English whose voiced stops also had negative VOT. This made her more curious and motivated her to record yet another female Montenegrin whose voiced stops also turned out to have negative VOT. It is not uncommon for speakers to produce negative VOT. However, it is unusual for three out of three speakers of the same language to have negative VOT. These phonetic “coincidences” have aroused Koffi’s suspicion that maybe [b, d, g] are produced with negative VOT in Montenegrin. This may turn out to be only a conjecture. However, it is a conjecture worth pursuing because it may conceal a deeper linguistic reality about Montenegrin and/or Montenegrin-accented English waiting to be discovered. A largescale study needs to be undertaken to establish whether this is a case of a negative phonetic transfer of VOT or not.
Koffi, Ettien N. Dr. and Abat, Martina
"Negative VOT in Three Montenegrin-Accented English Idiolects,"
Linguistic Portfolios: Vol. 3
, Article 9.
Available at: http://repository.stcloudstate.edu/stcloud_ling/vol3/iss1/9