Cross-language perception of word-final stops: comparison of Cantonese, Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese listeners

Kimiko Tsukada, Thu T. A. Nguyen, Rungpat Roengpitya, Shunichi Ishihara

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This study examined the discrimination of word-final stop contrasts (/p/-/t/, /p/-/k/, /t/-/k/) in English and Thai by native speakers of Cantonese (C), Japanese (J), Korean (K) and Vietnamese (V). The listeners’ first languages (L1) differ substantially in how word-final stops are phonetically realized. Although Japanese does not permit word-final stops, the J listeners were able to discriminate English (but not Thai) contrasts accurately, demonstrating that non-native contrasts are learnable beyond early childhood. The C, K and V listeners have experience with unreleased final stops in their L1s, but differed in their discrimination accuracy especially for Thai stop contrasts. This research highlights the value of systematically comparing listener groups from diverse L1 backgrounds in gaining a better understanding of the role of L1 experience in cross-language speech perception.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 16th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences ICPhS XVI, 6 - 10 August 2007, Saarbrücken, Germany
EditorsJürgen Trouvain, William J. Barry
Place of PublicationSaarbrücken
PublisherUniv. des Saarlandes
Number of pages4
ISBN (Print)9783981153507
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes
EventInternational Congress of Phonetic Sciences (16th : 2007) - Saarbrücken
Duration: 6 Aug 200710 Aug 2007


ConferenceInternational Congress of Phonetic Sciences (16th : 2007)


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