A primary purpose of this study was to examine the difference in identification by Japanese and English listeners of vocally-expressed emotions (happy, sad, angry, and neutral) on the utterance "pikachuu" as generated by Japanese and American children. Both sets of listeners identified the emotions uttered by Japanese children better than those by American children, but the difference was not significant. A second purpose of the study was to examine the acoustic differences between the Japanese and American English children's productions of 'pikachuu.' The results showed that in expression of emotions, the dynamic range of F0 was similar in the two languages; however, the length of syllables varied, reflecting language-specific characteristics.
This study is aimed at verifying whether a language environment affects infants' ability to match the lip movements of vowel articulations with respective vocal sounds. Previous studies indicate that infants in English listening environment are able to match the lip movements of vowels /a/ and /i/ with respective vocal sounds. In this study, two sets of experiments consistently suggest that 8 month old Japanese infants can match the phonetic information of vowel /a/ to its respective visual information provided by visible lip articulation, while no evidence for one to one corresponding matching was found concerning vowel /i/. This unique result is possibly due to the language-specific visual and motor experience of vowel articulation pertaining to Japanese infants.
This study investigated the prosodic characteristics of three types of focus structures, i.e. the modifier-focused, noun-focused and neutral structures, in Japanese spoken by Korean learners of Japanese, and compared them with those in native speakers' speech. The material was recorded in two groups of subjects, Korean learners and native Japanese speakers. The analysis results showed the following. In the modifier-focused and noun-focused structures, similarities between the two groups were identified in terms of intonational phrasing. On the other hand, in the neutral structure, different intonational phrasing was identified.
The central vowels in the Northern Ryukyu dialects are historically thought to have been formed by the following four processes: (I) centralization of the vowel [e], (II) centralization of the vowel [u] following the consonants [s・z・c], (III) the coalescence of diphthongs [ai・ae] and IV) the assimilation to the central vowel in an adjacent syllable. Among these, process II brought about the condition of the so-called "Hitotsugana-ben" throughout most of the Ryukyu dialects except the Northern Amami dialect. So the absense of process II can be considered one of the remarkable characteristics of the Northern Amami dialect. Again, the proto-condition for process I, prevalent in all dialects of the Amami regeon, and process II must have included such a contrast as ^*Ci/Ce/Cu (C=s,z,c). This contrast can be interpreted to have changed into the following situations present in current Northern Amami dialects: (1) Ci[i]/Ce[ï]/Cu [u] observed in Yoro, (2) Ci[i]/Ce = Cu[ï] observed in peripheral area of Ooshima, Ci=Ce[i]/Cu[u] observed in Kikai, Ci = Cu[ï]/Ce[i] observed in north part of Tokunoshima, and (3) Ci = Ce = Cu[ï〜i] observed in Naze and often refered to as "Hitotsugana-Ben". Historically (1) is considered to be the oldest situation. This was followed by (2), which was brought about by the merger of the various parts of (1). Lastly, stage (3) was brought about by the merger of the remaining independent part of (2).