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

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


Prelexical Representations in Japanese: Evidence from the Structural Induction Paradigm

Kiyoko Yoneyama, Mark A. Pitt

The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA

The study examined the proposal that word segmentation is influenced by listeners' sensitivity to language-universal syllabic structure as well as language-specific rhythmic structure. This hypothesis was tested in Japanese, which can be described in terms of syllabic (universal) and moraic (language-specific) units. The results of Experiment 1 showed that Japanese listeners exhibit minimal sensitivity to syllabic structure. Experiment 2 demonstrated that a modification in methodology was not the cause of the results found in Japanese. Findings provide little evidence in favor of a universal segmentation strategy, suggesting instead that listeners use only language-specific segmentation strategies.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Yoneyama, Kiyoko / Pitt, Mark A. (1999): "Prelexical representations in Japanese: evidence from the structural induction paradigm", In ICPhS-14, 897-900.