Interlanguage (IL) is the learner's language which is in the process of transition between the learner's native language (NL) and the target language (TL). IL is characterized by systematicity and variability. By analyzing IL we can obtain information about learner's strategies and processes in acquiring the TL. This paper introduces some studies which have been conducted on strategies, phonological developments, and other factors in Japanese learners' IL: acquisition of Japanese geminate consonants by Australian learners, voiced stops by Beijing and Shanghai Chinese learners, compensatory lengthening by British learners, auditory recognition of phrasal pitch patterns by Korean learners from Seoul, and production of different phrasal pitch patterns by French learners. The results from the IL research may provide suggestions to help learners of Japanese as well as better understanding of language learning in general.
This paper reports on a case study of how Brazilian learners of Japanese learn Japanese word level prosody. Recordings of nouns and verbs with 2 and 3 morae by two advanced level Brazilian learners were analyzed. The results indicated that the learners most likely use interlanguage to realize Japanese word pitch patterns. The learners showed the following tendencies which cannot be interpreted as resulting from native language interference. (1) Application of different pitch assignment rules to nouns and verbs respectively. (2) Tendency to give high pitch to the heavy syllables in CVCVN and CVNCV structures. (3) Tendency to give high pitch to the first two morae in CVN and CVRCV structures.
From the viewpoint of contrastive analysis and error analysis, a great deal of effort has been made on the problems of acquisition of Japanese pronunciation by Korean speakers. The aim of these studies concern To whom / When / What we should instruct, with the focus on development of syllabus, curriculum, and teaching materials. What seems to be lacking, however, are concrete proposals for ways of instruction. Since these studies can not directly answer the question about How we can have more effective and efficient instruction in the classroom, it is imperative that we collect a large amount of data during actual classroom teaching.
It is sometimes thought that Chinese dialects are useful for Chinese-speaking learners to learn Japaese pronunciation. But, how can Chinese dialects make it easier to learn Japanese phonetic recognition? This paper describes not only some Japanese pronunciations by Chinese-speaking learners, but also the role of their native Chinese dialects in learning Japanese language from the aspect of interlanguage study. It also attempts to point out that the dialect which is used both for oral communication and cognitive task like mental calculation (e.g. Shang Hai dialect) affect learning of Japanese pronunciation more than other dialects which are used only on oral communication (Min Nan dialect in Taiwan).
This paper has examined the characteristic phonetic errors of spoken Japanese made by native American English speakers. From the auditory analysis of the interviews conducted three times during the course of a 10 month period, 5 distinct characteristics were observed. They are as follows: (1) prolongation of short vowels, (2) shortening of geminates, (3) diphthongization of two-vowel sequences, (4) influence of stress accent on Japanese pitch accent, and (5) difficulty in the realization of pitch accent.
Japanese [p] is held to be a marked segment with characteristics different from those of other obstruents. In particular, it always appears in Yamato as a geminate consonant, and the occurrence of a single [p] is prohibited. On the other hand, onomatopoeia allows free occurrence of a single [p], as in "pari-pari," which leads to the common view that the grammar of onomatopoeia is different from that of Yamato with respect to [p]. However, a closer examination of the voicing patterns in onomatopoeia reveals that the above observation is not necessarily valid. This article attempts to demonstrate the markecness of [p] in onomatopoeia. It is specifically shown, on the basis of facts associated with voicing, that the occurrence of a single [p] is restricted even in onomatopoeia. It is then demonstrated that the seemingly peculiar occurrence of a single [p] and of voicing in onomatopoeia can be accounted for in a principled manner in the framework of Optimality Theory.
The lower formant frequencies of whispered vowels are known to be slightly higher than those of modal vowels. This paper attempts to interpret this phenomenon acoustically, based on an electrical circuit model of the vocal tract. Perceived naturalness of whispered vowels is shown to be associated with bandwidth of the lower formant and spectral tilt resulting from loose acoustic coupling between supra- and sub-glottal systems through a small glottal chink. Perceptual significance of the frequency shift of the lower formant in whispered vowels is also studied. Perceptual experiments showed in that vowel boundaries between modal and whispered vowels were not changed in four of six subjects for the /o/-/a/ stimuli and in two of six for the /i/-/e/ stimuli. The results indicated that frequency shift of the lower formant in whispered vowels is not necessarily associated with the compensation for vowel boundary shifts.
This book is an introduction to speech science attempting to cover the entire processes of human communication made by sound. Five authors, who have various backgrounds in areas such as linguistics, physiology, engineering, and computer science, introduce and explain the latest information from their viewpoints. The contents of this book are: 1) phonetics, 2) phonology, 3) biological foundation on speech production and perception by human beings, 4) speech analysis and speech synthesis using machines, and 5) speech recognition using machines.