Respiratory Control, Pauses, and Tonal Control in L1’s and L2’s Text Reading – A Pilot Study on Swedish and Japanese –

Toshiko Isei-Jaakkola, Yasuko Nagano-Madsen, Keiko Ochi


This paper reports the results of a pilot study which examines the respiratory control by chest- and abdominal muscles during the reading of a long text in mother tongue (L1) and in a targeted foreign language of learning (L2) with reference to syntax and prosody in Japanese and Swedish. Three datasets of read speech were obtained from Swedish speakers (SwL1), Swedish learners of Japanese (SwL2) and Japanese speakers (JL1). The results show that the subjects use different respiratory control in reading L1 text and L2 text respectively. Both SwL1 and JL1 use chest- and abdominal-muscles almost simultaneously and their peaks of the muscular movements co-occur around at the onset of major syntactic units such as sentences and clauses. SwL2 use more chest-muscles than abdominal-muscles with muscular movements being more frequent, irregular, and small. There was no significant difference between JL1 and Swedish L1 & L2 in terms of the tonal control (pitch range). Some pitch peaks and pauses that appear at the major syntactic boundaries coincide with peaks of the muscular movements, but other pitch peaks and pauses didn’t. These results led to a hypothesis that the acquisition of intonation precedes that of respiratory control in L2 learning.


 DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2018-176

Cite as: Isei-Jaakkola, T., Nagano-Madsen, Y., Ochi, K. (2018) Respiratory Control, Pauses, and Tonal Control in L1’s and L2’s Text Reading – A Pilot Study on Swedish and Japanese –. Proc. 9th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2018, 873-877, DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2018-176.


@inproceedings{Isei-Jaakkola2018,
  author={Toshiko {Isei-Jaakkola} and Yasuko {Nagano-Madsen} and Keiko Ochi},
  title={Respiratory Control, Pauses, and Tonal Control in L1’s and L2’s Text Reading – A Pilot Study on Swedish and Japanese –},
  year=2018,
  booktitle={Proc. 9th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2018},
  pages={873--877},
  doi={10.21437/SpeechProsody.2018-176},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/SpeechProsody.2018-176}
}