The present study aims to investigate the correlation between the usage of phonetic learning strategies and the acquisition of Japanese pronunciation in a Chinese JFL environment. One hundred and twenty three Chinese undergraduate students majoring in Japanese who take a proper phonetic education are required to complete a questionnaire concerning the learning strategies of phonetics, and read aloud a short passage in Japanese. Samples of each learner's speech is recorded and analyzed in relation to the data from the questionnaire. Three major findings are suggested by the research. (1) The factor analysis shows that the following strategies, namely “practice by vocalization type”, “human resources type”, “media use type”, “mouth conscious type” and “self-monitor type” are confirmed to be used by learners. (2) The more time students spend learning Japanese, the better they will acquire the accent and mora length. (3) It is suggested in correlation studies and regression analysis that phonetic proficiency is less likely to be predicted through the use of phonetic learning strategies. In view of all the findings, targeted phonetic education is more important than different learning strategies.
In this paper, I investigate the “ambiguous” treatment of pitch accent observed in dialects of the eastern Tokyo metropolitan area. I do this by analyzing two acoustic features: range of drop in pitch, and relative timing of peak pitch. My analysis shows that, in comparison with speakers from central Tokyo, those from eastern Tokyo exhibit relatively small drops in pitch and relatively unclear distinctions between different intonation patterns in timing of peak pitch. Based on these results, I conclude that the difference between “clear” and “ambiguous” treatments of pitch accent observed may be understood in terms of the clarity of drops in pitch, and the dispersion and clustering of peak pitch timing.
In Awara City, Fukui Pref., the author conducted fieldwork and found that the dialect of Kitagata has a unique 3-pattern accent (tone) system which differs substantially in pitch realization from the systems of the surrounding dialects. This paper outlines the major characteristics of the system and describes a tonal change which causes each of two juxtaposed phrases to undergo tonal alternation depending on the context; for instance, hà-gá ʻleaf-nomʼ and dètá ʻcame outʼ become hà-gà détà ‘Leaves came out.’ As for the historical relationship with other dialects, the merger pattern of the accent classes of the Kitagata dialect shows a close affinity to the dialect of Kokonogi in Echizen Town (Nitta 2012).
A special geminate like ff in maffa ‘pillow’, which does not exist in Standard Japanese (SJ) is found in the Antoh dialect in Fukui Prefecture. This paper deals with the synchronic and diachronic phenomena concerning the ff geminate in addition to bb and ss. This paper has the following purposes:
(1) to illustrate the correspondence of geminates between the Antoh dialect and SJ,
(2) to investigate the historical development of the geminates in the Antoh dialect,
(3) to point out that the manifestation of the geminates in the Antoh dialect is similar to that of the Miyako-jima dialect in the Ryukyuan language, and
(4) to propose that the explanation for the processes of the geminate in this dialect gives a suggestive source to the discussion on the processes of sound changes in the Ryukyuan language.
In this paper we test the hypothesis that Ikema, a dialect of Miyako Ryukyuan, has a three-pattern accent system, where three accent classes, Types A, B, and C, are lexically distinguished, in contrast with previous studies which have claimed that it has a two-pattern accent system. The results of our analysis confirm the existence of three distinct accent classes. The three-way distinction can only be observed in quite restricted conditions, including when nouns followed by one or more bimoraic particles precede a predicate. The results also reveal that Type A words are few in number, indicating that Type A words are in the process of merging with Type B.
To elucidate the neural basis of stuttering, brain activation for reading words was compared between adults who do and do not stutter (AWS/ANS) with functional MRI. Japanese native speakers read aloud familiar (F), unfamiliar (U) and pseudo- (P) words of 4 or 5 syllables. P contained much fewer native syllable sequences than F or U. F primarily activated the left angular/supramarginal gyri (lAG/SMG), U Broca's area, and P the left ventral premotor/motor areas (lvPMA/MA), respectively, in ANS. AWS showed lower activation in lAG/SMG and Broca's area, but higher activation in lvPMA/MA, implying that AWS cannot read native syllable sequences as efficiently as ANS.
The place of articulation in Japanese moraic-nasals is known to vary in accordance with the following sound and is assumed to be uvular in word final position. This paper describes the articulatory variability of word-final moraic-nasals based on the X-ray microbeam speech production database in Japanese. The results depict substantive inter-speaker variability in three of the four words examined. Moreover, 75% of the data examined were deemed unlikely to be uvular nasals and the lips were likely to be closed in 40% of the data. The results do not support the claim that word-final moraic-nasals are uvular.