This paper provides an overview of the research on the acquisition of phonology and prosody from the viewpoint of language universals. By way of introduction, I first sketch the traditional but still prevailing hypotheses proposed by Roman Jakobson six decades ago and attempt to evaluate these hypotheses in light of empirical data concerning, in particular, the acquisition of vowels, consonants and syllable structure. I then discuss the acquisition of prosody with main emphasis on that of the mora and the prosodic structure of words in Japanese. I will also point out in passing several interesting questions that remain unsolved.
In this paper, several studies about infants' ability to discriminate languages between birth and 4-5 months were reviewed. In the rhythmic class acquisition hypothesis, infants' initial sensitivity to rhythmic classes would allow them to specify the common rhythmic properties of their native rhythmic class, and from this they would develop an associated metrical segmentation procedure. In addition,several studies about American infants' ability to extract word-like units from fluent speech were reviewed. Finally, several studies about Japanese infants' sensitivity to the typical rhythm pattern based on morae of Japanese baby words were reviewed.
This paper reviews research papers published since 1990 on the acquisition of the Tokyo accent and intonation by foreign learners of Japanese. Intonation studies examined in this paper were mainly focused on the acquisition of sentence final pitch patterns for interrogative sentences in Japanese. As for accent acquisition studies, both production and perception studies were analyzed. With the surprising improvements of computer technology in recent years, it is expected that a great amount of progress could be done in research on the acquisition of accent and intonation in the future.
The purposes of this paper are: 1) to examine the historical development of second language research in light of various theoretical hypotheses which have been posited to explain learners' errors, 2) to introduce some of the preceding phonetic research focusing on the segmental level within the framework of 'interlanguage', 3) to review the recent literature on phonetic research in the field of second language acquisition of Japanese segments, and 4) to discuss some of the problems associated with the segmental level. It is hoped that this study may help with the future development of teaching Japanese as a foreign language.
In this paper, I first introduce some previous acoustical studies concerning Japanese special morae. Following this, I seek to review previous studies on the acquisition of special morae by Japanese language learners. The reviews are conducted from the viewpoint of both perception and production. Finally, I suggest research areas pertaining to second language speech perception and production as directions for future study.
This study investigated both the extent of accentual paradigm (analogical) leveling observed in adjectives in Tokyo Japanese and the factors influencing the change based on spoken data from 36 speakers in their late teens, 20s, 30s, and 40s. Multivariate analyses showed that adjective accent variation was strongly conditioned by grammatical factors (e.g., inflectional forms, the following grammatical elements, and word frequency) and moderately affected by phonetic factors (e.g., the sonority hierarchy of the consonant of the syllable on which the accent falls, stem length, and vowel devoicing). In contrast, extralinguistic factors played almost no role in predicting the variation.
The Seoul dialect of Korean has three types of plosives and africates: lax, tense and aspirated. Kim et al. (2002) pointed out that low F0 gives the cue of lax against tense and aspirated. In this paper I measured the height of F0 of syllables relative to the immediately preceding syllable in one-, two- and three-syllable-nouns (relative to the final syllable of the word preceding one-syllable nouns.) By this method, F0 variation of each utterance is neutralized and we can see clearly a high / low F0 difference on the first syllable: always lower than the preceding syllable if its onset is lax; always higher if its onset is tense or aspirated. Moreover, the height of the second and third syllables are determined by the height of the first syllable. The onset of the syllable, either nasal or vowel, is also lower, while the fricative-onset is higher, even though these consonants have no counterparts distinguished by F0 height. This suggests that the Seoul dialect has a non-distinctive tone pattern with a high / low F0 parameter on the first syllable of words.