Second Language Studies: Acquisition, Learning, Education and Technology

Tokyo, Japan
September 22-24, 2010

A Study of Pitch Patterns of Sentence Utterances by Japanese Speakers of English in Comparison with Native Speakers of English

Tomoko Nariai, Kazuyo Tanaka

Graduate School of Library, Information and Media Studies, University of Tsukuba, Japan

This paper describes statistical analyses for identifying certain inherent ambiguities on pitch patterns of sentence utterances in English spoken by Japanese (Japanese English, henceforth). Statistical significance of pitch pattern differences between Japanese English and native English speakers is evaluated depending on the word position in a sentence and the word class, such as content word and function word. Results suggest that in Japanese English, sentences have lower pitch at the beginning and higher pitch at the end than sentences uttered by English speakers. Also, pitch ranges in sentences in Japanese English are narrower than those for English speakers. These indicate that intonation pattern in Japanese English is rather flat. Additionally, the results suggest that function words in Japanese English have higher pitch than English speakers.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Nariai, Tomoko / Tanaka, Kazuyo (2010): "A study of pitch patterns of sentence utterances by Japanese speakers of English in comparison with native speakers of English", In L2WS-2010, paper P2-1.