First International Conference on Spoken Language Processing (ICSLP 90)

Kobe, Japan
November 18-22, 1990

Perception of Mora in the Three Dialects of Japanese

Yasuko Nagano-Madsen

Department of Linguistics and Phonetics, Lund University, Lund, Sweden

One naturally spoken token of the words beru and beeru was edited by LPC synthesis to produce stimuli varying in the timing of F0 fall. These stimuli were presented in two durational contexts to listeners representing the three varieties of Japanese who were asked to judge which of the words the stimuli sounded like. The results showed that there was a significant effect of F0 pattern on the judgement made by the Standard and Osaka group whereas no such effect was observed for the accentless group. The durational context played no role for the former group but increased accuracy in judgement for the latter group. The finding that F0 pattern influenced the perception of vowel mora in the Standard/Osaka group gives support to the traditional description that it is the mora, not the syllable, that is the unit of tone assignment in these varieties of Japanese, However, it does not support the definition of the Japanese mora as fundamentally a durational phenomena and nothing else.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Nagano-Madsen, Yasuko (1990): "Perception of mora in the three dialects of Japanese", In ICSLP-1990, 25-28.