4th International Conference on Spoken Language Processing

Philadelphia, PA, USA
October 3-6, 1996

Perception of Tonal Accent by Americans Learning Japanese

Yukihiro Nishinuma (1), Masako Arai (2), Takako Ayusawa (3)

(1) CNRS, Laboratoire Parole et Langage, France
(2) Doshisha University, Kyoto, Japan
(3) National Language Research Institute, Tokyo, Japan

We studied how American subjects learning Japanese perceive tonal accents under different experimental conditions. The perceptual experiment included 3 tests, each one containing 24 words consisting of 3, 4, and 5 moras with different tonal accents. Two groups of 54 American students were asked to detect words accent. An analysis of variance showed that test, mora, and accent type factors were highly significant. Results, by accent type, suggest that the perception of tonal accent seems to be mother tongue-dependent; Accent types corresponding to English intonation patterns were preferred.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Nishinuma, Yukihiro / Arai, Masako / Ayusawa, Takako (1996): "Perception of tonal accent by americans learning Japanese", In ICSLP-1996, 646-649.