EUROSPEECH 2001 Scandinavia
7th European Conference on Speech Communication and Technology

Aalborg, Denmark
September 3-7, 2001


Japanese Can be Aware of Syllables and Morae: Evidence from Japanese-English Bilingual Children

Takashi Otake, Yuka Yamaguchi

Dokkyo University, Japan

This study investigated the metalinguistic knowledge of the internal structure of syllables by Japanese-English bilingual children. Our recent study revealed that Japanese-English adult bilinguals could be aware of two constituents of syllable structure, syllables and morae, depending upon the nature of input materials, while monolingual speakers were aware of morae irrespective of input materials. Three experiments were conducted with 10 bilingual Japanese children, using CVCVNCV materials in Japanese, English and Spanish in order to test whether the same phenomenon could be observed by bilingual children. The subjects were asked to identify the number of chunks within the materials which were presented aurally and to stamp the number of them on a test sheet.

The results showed that they preferred moare in Japanese, but syllables in English and Spanish, suggesting that an ability to manipulate two languages freely may have a function to suppress moraic consciousness.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Otake, Takashi / Yamaguchi, Yuka (2001): "Japanese can be aware of syllables and morae: evidence from Japanese-English bilingual children", In EUROSPEECH-2001, 141-144.