5th International Conference on Spoken Language Processing

Sydney, Australia
November 30 - December 4, 1998

Assimilation of Place in Japanese and Dutch

Anne Cutler (1), Takashi Otake (2)

(1) Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, The Netherlands
(2) Dokkyo University, Japan

Assimilation of place of articulation across a nasal and a following stop consonant is obligatory in Japanese, but not in Dutch. In four experiments the processing of assimilated forms by speakers of Japanese and Dutch was compared, using a task in which listeners blended pseudo-word pairs such as ranga-serupa. An assimilated blend of this pair would be rampa, an unassimilated blend rangpa. Japanese listeners produced significantly more assimilated than unassimilated forms, both with pseudo-Japanese and pseudo-Dutch materials, while Dutch listeners produced significantly more unassimilated than assimilated forms in each materials set. This suggests that Japanese listeners, whose native-language phonology involves obligatory assimilation constraints, represent the assimilated nasals in nasal-stop sequences as unmarked for place of articulation, while Dutch listeners, who are accustomed to hearing unassimilated forms, represent the same nasal segments as marked for place of articulation.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Cutler, Anne / Otake, Takashi (1998): "Assimilation of place in Japanese and dutch", In ICSLP-1998, paper 0093.