The present study is concerned with the voicing contrasts of stop consonants in Japanese and English, and examines phonetic characteristics of their contrasts. The examination is mainly based on the acoustic analysis of initial stops in the two languages. Based on the analysis, it can be said that Japanese and English use several acoustic features such as voice onset time (VOT), Fo and its curve, and the onset of the first formant frequency for distinguishing voicing contrasts. Phonetic differences of the voicing contrasts in the two languages can be represented by the selection of the laryngeal features /VOICE, ASPIRATED, TENSE/, and the implementation of these selected features.
Coarticulation is the effect of one sound on another in the speech stream. It has traditionally been considered universal phenomena constrained by limitations in motor control. However, current studies have revealed that coarticulation is also constrained by the language-specific phonological system. In the present paper, coarticulation , in particular, the effect of context on vowel in Japanese and English will be discussed in the light of differences in phonological systems.
This article seeks to identify general principles for the mechanisms of suprasegmental change by investigating innovative accent patterns in Japanese and English. First, recent accent changes are reported for Japanese nouns, followed by an account of variation in the pitch patterns of the conjugational forms of adjectives. Two principles of accent change are proposed for nouns and adjectives. In the case of nouns derived from adjectives, a conflict between these two principles is observed. Based on a similar kind of conflict that can be observed in English, parallels between Japanese and English are discussed with respect to the impetus for variation and change in word accent.
Recent developments of speech analysis tools in the form of computer software enable us to visualise and observe in a more efficient manner than ever the acoustic characteristics of speech. The pedagogical applications of the analytic technique have been made to a visual-aided teaching method of English pronunciation. This paper, comparing the phonetic characteristics of English pronunciation by native speakers of English and those by Japanese speakers, attempts to clarify the causes of the so-called 'unEnglish' features by Japanese speakers in the following order: segments, rhythm and weakening, assimilation, and intonation. In so doing, teaching methods and learning materials are suggested in order for Japanese learners of English to overcome the inappropriate elements in their pronunciation.
Korean has two types of alveolar fricatives called "lax" and "forced". We observed the acoustic characteristics of each type of fricative with a sound-spectrograph. At the beginning and in the middle point of the frictional period, both types of fricatives showed a similar spectral pattern: the main frequency component was observed to be higher than 5000Hz in many cases among both types of fricatives. At the final point of the frictional period, a low frequency component around F2 and/or F3 of the following vowel was observed in the lax fricative more often than in the forced one. However, our results suggested that the presence or absence of the low frequency component around F2 and/or F3 of the following vowel might not differentiate the two types of fricatives.
The purpose of this paper is to compare poetic rhythm and prose rhythm in English. For this study 28 readings of 11 poems and 14 readings of 11 stories were used. The important findings are as follows: 1. Stress occurred more regularly in the poetry readings than in the prose readings. However, the difference between the two was not as great as had been expected. 2. The findings regarding tone groups were that usually a six-syllable line was very likely to form one complete tone group, but if a line consisted of more than six syllables, it usually favoured more than a single tone group. 3. The number of syllables in a tone group was two to eight in most cases in the poetry readings, with the maximum being 16; while in the prose readings the number of syllables was more widely distributed, sometimes extending to a maximum of 22. 4. Poems were read more slowly than stories; to be more exact, the number of syllables read per second in the poetry readings was less than that in the story readings by one syllable.