The purpose of this paper is to investigate trends in Russian learners' (RS) recognition of the emotions "surprise" and "reluctance" from Japanese echo questions. The results show substantial individual differences in RS's percentage of correct answers, and no differences in the percentage of correct answers according to length of study. RS have difficulty in recognizing emotions in heibangata (flat, accentless) words, and those RS with a low score are seen to have a difficulty in recognizing emotions in words with a specific accent. This suggests that the ability to recognize emotions may improve by proper training.
Central vowels are observed both in the Ryukyuan dialects and East-northern dialects of the Japanese language. This paper takes notice of the u-fronting preceded by the coronal consonants which were observed in the 16th century dialect of Okinawa main island. It is speculated that this kind of coarticulation also was a trigger change toward the centralization of [u] vowel of East-northern dialects of Japanese. Just as the coronal consonants influence the shape of the tongue body by u-fronting, it is also supposed that the shape of the tongue pronouncing [i] could also be assimilated to the preceding coronal consonants. As the results of the above two assimilations, firstly /i/ and /u/ are speculated to have begun centralization in the environment following /s, z, c/. Secondly the consonants preceding central vowels have extended to all the consonants other than /s, z, c/, and thirdly /i/ and /u/ following /s, z, c/ have ceased to be distinct phonemically.
This paper aims to clarify the remaining traces of the Japanese labial /h/ sounds in Tohoku dialects, and to describe the characteristics of a gradual process in which the labials decline. Through an analysis of mouth shape, that visualizes lip movements in the articulation of the labials, the author attempts to describe various aspects and their transitional process. The results show some features that have not been recognized through aural analysis, which include leaving the mouth shape of labials, and using bilabial fricatives and labiodental fricatives. These findings suggest that traces of the Japanese labial /h/ sounds in Tohoku dialects are more broadly recognized than have been estimated, implying a geographically and generationally complex nature.
The accent in the south-east area of the Izu Peninsula basically accords with the Tokyo accent, but it has different characteristics from varieties of accents found around the area. One of the characteristics is that a speaker living there pronounces a word in some different patterns. Based on a survey in which some speakers were asked to read out a list of words and an analysis of recorded natural conversations, this study clarified the present status of accent variation in the Matsuzaki-cho dialect. The results showed that there was a consistent tendency concerning the patterns pronounced by the speakers, and that the tendency was different from what previous studies had reported. This study also confirmed that the Matsuzaki-cho dialect has some pronunciation patterns which reflect the old Tokyo accent, and that compared with the case when nothing follows a noun, the falling tone appears one beat later when a noun is followed by a particle or an auxiliary. Moreover, it was shown that the younger generation lacks these characteristics observed in the older generation, which means that their accent is becoming similar to the Tokyo accent, and that differently from the older generation, the younger generation also has several accent patterns for individual words that coincide with the present Tokyo accent.
The Rikuchu-Miyako dialect-spoken in the central area of Miyako city in Iwate prefecture, northern Japan-has a unique word accent system (Tanaka 2003). In this dialect, a sentence conveys a particular modal meaning when its final vowel is lengthened and pronounced with either a high pitch or a rise-fall pitch movement, depending on the accentual type of the final word. For example, when the adjective "suzusi" (comfortably cool) is pronounced [ sɯzɯsɯː⧵ː⧵], it means "I can say it is pleasantly cool here" and not just "It's cool." In this paper, the conditions under which this prosodic phenomenon occurs, along with its social and geographical aspects, are examined by analyzing utterances ending in a noun, verb, adjective or function word.