4th International Conference on Spoken Language Processing

Philadelphia, PA, USA
October 3-6, 1996

Inter-language Vowel Perception and Production by Korean and Japanese Listeners

John C. L. Ingram, See-Gyoon Park

Department of English, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia

This paper investigates the influence of phonological learning upon the perception of non-native vowels. Four groups of Korean and Japanese English learners, at two levels of English experience, and a group of older monolingual Korean listeners were assessed on the perception and production of Australian English monophthongal front vowels: /i: w e a:/. Korean is of interest, because of a recent phonological merger of two front vowels (/e/ and /e/), which has produced a generation split among speakers of Seoul dialect above and below 45-50 years of age (Hong, 1991). The present study is the first reported case of how a phonemic merger, resulting in cross-generation differences within a speech community, can influence speakers' perception and production of non-native vowels. The effects of phonological learning on vowel perception were also observed in the tendency of the Japanese, but not the Korean listeners, to normalise tokens of non-native vowels for speaker-dependent durational variation, consistent with the respective phonological roles of vowel length in Japanese and Korean.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Ingram, John C. L. / Park, See-Gyoon (1996): "Inter-language vowel perception and production by Korean and Japanese listeners", In ICSLP-1996, 446-449.