Cross-linguistic perception of the Japanese singleton/geminate contrast: Korean, Mandarin and Mongolian compared

Kimiko Tsukada, Yurong, Joo-Yeon Kim, Jeong Im Han, John Hajek

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review

Abstract

The perception of Japanese consonant length contrasts (i.e. short/singleton vs long/geminate) by native and non-native speakers was compared to examine the extent to which difficult foreign language (FL) sounds are processed accurately. Three groups of participants had Korean, Mandarin or Mongolian as their first language (L1) and had no experience with Japanese. Unlike Japanese, Mandarin and Mongolian do not use consonant length contrastively. The phonemic status of consonant length in Korean is debatable. Further, unlike Japanese and Mandarin which predominantly use open syllables and restrict the occurrence of consonants in coda position, Korean and Mongolian permit a wide range of consonants in that syllable position. Via the AXB task, the participants' discrimination accuracy of Japanese consonant length contrasts was assessed and compared to that of a group of 10 native Japanese speakers who served as controls. The Japanese group was at near ceiling with little individual variation. The Mongolian (but not Korean and Mandarin) group did not significantly differ from the control group when the target token (X) contained a geminate. All non-native groups were significantly less accurate than the control group when X contained a singleton. These results were interpreted as reflecting the participants' L1 quantity system.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationINTERSPEECH 2021
Subtitle of host publication22nd Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association
Place of PublicationBaixas, France
PublisherInternational Speech Communication Association
Pages3910-3914
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9781713836902
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021
EventAnnual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association (22nd : 2021) - Brno, Czech Republic
Duration: 30 Aug 20213 Sep 2021

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association, INTERSPEECH
Volume2
ISSN (Print)2308-457X
ISSN (Electronic)1990-9772

Conference

ConferenceAnnual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association (22nd : 2021)
Abbreviated titleINTERSPEECH 2021
CountryCzech Republic
CityBrno
Period30/08/213/09/21

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Part of the data collection for this study was conducted while the first author was affiliated with the University of Oregon on the 2018 Endeavour Research Fellowship. We thank Kaori Idemaru for the use of Spoken Language Research Laboratories and participants for making the study possible. We also thank three anonymous reviewers for their time and input. The first and second authors are supported by the Sumitomo Foundation Fiscal 2020 Grant for Japan-related Research Projects (entitled “Comparison of Japanese sound processing by Mongolian speakers and Mandarin speakers”).

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2021 ISCA.

Copyright:
Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • consonant length
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • long/geminate
  • Mandarin
  • Mongolian
  • short/singleton

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