14th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-14)

San Francisco, CA, USA
August 1-7, 1999

A Case Study of Spontaneous Speech in Japanese

Takayuki Arai

Sophia University, Tokyo, Japan

This paper investigates spontaneous speech in Japanese, particularly phonetic phenomena that do not normally occur in carefully pronounced formal speech. I discuss several pronunciation variations in a corpus, including reduction or deletion of both vowels and consonants.
   In this study, I also analyzed a specific speech utterance, which has a combination of some of those pronunciation variations, in detail. It was often difficult to identify each segment in the utterance solely by listening to just the few segments themselves (micro-listening), even if listening to the entire phrase (macrolistening) sounded intelligible. I conducted a perceptual experiment using this utterance; the results showed that the same speech segment was perceived as two morae by micro-listening and as five morae by macro-listening.
   Listeners use a combination of temporal and contextual cues to reconstruct a speaker's intentions, although the phenomena found in spontaneous speech show that phonetic segments may change their appearance.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Arai, Takayuki (1999): "A case study of spontaneous speech in Japanese", In ICPhS-14, 615-618.