Second Language Studies: Acquisition, Learning, Education and Technology

Tokyo, Japan
September 22-24, 2010

German Learners of Japanese - Perceptual and Prosodic Analysis of Utterances from a Meditative Setting

Hansjörg Mixdorff (1), Ryoko Hayashi (2), Yoriko Yamada-Bochynek (3), Keikichi Hirose (4), Hiroya Fujisaki (5)

(1) Dept. of Computer Science and Media, Beuth University of Applied Sciences, Berlin, Germany
(2) School of Intercultural Studies, University of Kobe, Japan
(3) Institute of Japanese Studies, Free University Berlin, Germany
(4) Department of Information and Communication Engineering, the University of Tokyo, Japan
(5) Professor Emeritus, the University of Tokyo, Japan

This study examines how closely Japanese utterances produced by German learners match those of Japanese natives, especially with respect to word and sentence prosody. Utterances were rated perceptually by Japanese native listeners as well as evaluated with respect to timing and F0 contours. We found that the German learners speak at a similar speech rate, but their syllabic durations are much more at variance than those of the Japanese controls. Altogether their rhythmic patterns are more similar than those by the Japanese. Contrary to our expectations perceptually prominent so-called pseudo-accent syllables are not lengthened, although the timing of tonal transitions at these is slightly different from the Japanese norm. Some transitions were not at all realized due to “deaccenting” phenomena.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Mixdorff, Hansjörg / Hayashi, Ryoko / Yamada-Bochynek, Yoriko / Hirose, Keikichi / Fujisaki, Hiroya (2010): "German learners of Japanese - perceptual and prosodic analysis of utterances from a meditative setting", In L2WS-2010, paper O3-2.