Second Language Studies: Acquisition, Learning, Education and Technology

Tokyo, Japan
September 22-24, 2010

A Pilot Study on Perception of Spanish Stress by Japanese Learners of Spanish

Takuya Kimura (1), Hirotaka Sensui (2), Miyuki Takasawa (3), Atsuko Toyomaru (4), José Joaquín Atria (5)

(1) Department of Spanish Language and Literature, Seisen University, Japan
(2) Department of Spanish and Latin American Studies, Nanzan University, Japan
(3) School of Education, Waseda University, Japan
(4) Faculty of Political Science and Economics, Takushoku University, Japan
(5) Faculty of Foreign Studies, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Japan

Japanese learners of Spanish sometimes fail to perceive the stresses when listening to Spanish utterances. Results of a perceptual experiment with 270 stimuli and 64 informants (43 Spanish and 21 Japanese) reveal that Spanish speakers perceive the stresses correctly almost every time, whereas Japanese speakers tend to fail to do so when the word is pronounced with rising intonation. The cause of this is the difference in phonetic realizations of Spanish stresses and those of Japanese accents. Japanese learners should be taught that the Spanish stressed with a high pitch.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Kimura, Takuya / Sensui, Hirotaka / Takasawa, Miyuki / Toyomaru, Atsuko / Atria, José Joaquín (2010): "A pilot study on perception of Spanish stress by Japanese learners of Spanish", In L2WS-2010, paper O1-4.