Vowel length categorization in Arabic and Japanese: comparison of native Japanese and non-native learners' perception

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This study examined the perception of short and long vowels in Arabic and Japanese by native Japanese (NJ) and nonnative learners of Japanese (NNJ). Ten Japanese vowels (5 short, 5 long) were given as response categories. As expected, the NJ listeners categorized the Japanese vowels more accurately than did the NNJ listeners (91 vs. 83%). Further, the NJ listeners tended to identify Japanese long vowels correctly more often than short vowels (93 vs. 88%), but the NNJ listeners did not show this pattern (82 vs. 84%). Both NJ and NNJ listeners assimilated short Arabic vowels to a wide range of Japanese vowels.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 13th Australasian International Conference on Speech Science and Technology
EditorsMarija Tabain, Janet Fletcher, David Grayden, John Hajek, Andy Butcher
Place of PublicationCanberra
PublisherAustralasian Speech Science and Technology Association (ASSTA)
Number of pages4
ISBN (Print)9780958194631
Publication statusPublished - 2010
EventAustralasian International Conference on Speech Science and Technology (13th : 2010) - Melbourne
Duration: 14 Dec 201016 Dec 2010


ConferenceAustralasian International Conference on Speech Science and Technology (13th : 2010)


  • cross-language speech perception
  • vowel length
  • Arabic
  • Japanese

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