2020 Volume 41 Issue 5 Pages 751-760
The perception of segmental duration is crucial for the distinction of Japanese length contrasts. However, the perceived duration may be changed in a long reverberation, which adds a ``tail'' to sounds, making them perceived as being longer. In addition, since lengthened sounds overlap the following sounds, the boundaries of phonemes would become blurred. In the current study, we investigated whether the effects of reverberation distort the distinction of Japanese length contrasts for native Japanese and English listeners. Stimuli were nonword pairs (/baba/–/babaa/, /ata/–/atta/, and /ama/–/amma/) varying in duration along the continuum. The logistic function was used to model the perception. In the distinction of vowel length contrast in the word-final position, even native listeners identified the stimulus with the shortest vowel duration as a long vowel word with reverberation. Regarding the perception of the geminate nasal, ``geminate'' responses increased with reverberation for native listeners, whereas the results for nonnative listeners indicated that ``singleton'' responses increased with reverberation. It is assumed that the difference could be attributed to the different prototypes of categories of Japanese between native and nonnative listeners. In addition, the results for nonnative listeners might be attributed to the difference in prosody between English and Japanese.