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

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

Effects of Sentence- vs. Word-Level Perceptual Training on the Acquisition of Japanese Durational Contrasts by English Native Speakers

Yukari Hirata

University of Chicago, USA

The present experiment compares the effects of word- vs. sentence- training on the ability to perceive difficult L2 contrasts. Subjects were thirty native speakers of English learning introductory Japanese. Group W (Word-training) identified the number of morae, from one to six, in each word spoken in isolation, and received feedback immediately after responding. For Group S (Sentence-training), the procedure was the same, but the words were heard in frame sentences. Control Group only took pre- and post- tests. After training, Group W outperformed the other two groups on the word test, and Group S outperformed the other two groups on the sentence test. However, Group W improved mostly on the word tests, but not on the sentence tests, whereas Group S improved almost equally on both tests. These results suggest that training with sentences might be more beneficial for the ultimate acquisition of difficult L2 durational contrasts in fluent speech.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Hirata, Yukari (1999): "Effects of sentence- vs. word-level perceptual training on the acquisition of Japanese durational contrasts by English native speakers", In ICPhS-14, 1413-1416.