5th International Conference on Spoken Language Processing

Sydney, Australia
November 30 - December 4, 1998

Acoustic Analysis of Japanese English Prosody: Comparison Between Fukushima Dialect Speakers and Tokyo Dialect Speakers in Declarative Sentences and Yes-No Questions

Mieko Muramatsu

Fukushima Medical University/Reading University, UK

L1 transfer may explain prosodic errors in an L2. For Japanese English prosody, several comparative studies have been conducted. However, only oral reading texts have been used and not much attention has been paid to the effect of differences in the L1 dialect, especially in an "accentless" Japanese dialect. This preliminary study describes an investigation of the differences in L1 dialect prosodic transfer to English between the speakers of the Fukushima dialect (an accentless dialect) and the Tokyo dialect (an accent dialect) in declarative sentences and yes-no questions. A two-way communicative task was selected to induce natural utterances. The fundamental frequency at each point of twenty equally-spaced points of observation of three female voices from each dialect group was measured. The major finding is there do appear to be dialectal differences in L1 transfer of prosody. However, this preliminary study is not conclusive and more comprehensive investigation will be necessary.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Muramatsu, Mieko (1998): "Acoustic analysis of Japanese English prosody: comparison between fukushima dialect speakers and tokyo dialect speakers in declarative sentences and yes-no questions", In ICSLP-1998, paper 1090.