15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-15)

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003

Intonational Interference in Japanese Learners' English

Masaki Taniguchi

University of Kochi, Japan

This paper is based on research designed to improve the teaching and learning of English intonation for Japanese EFL learners. Using experimental analysis of fundamental frequency, this paper outlines three of the weak points Japanese EFL learners have in English intonation: tonality, tonicity and tone. (a) In terms of tonality, Japanese learners of English tend to divide the text into unnecessarily many word groups. (b) In terms of tonicity, they tend to place the nucleus on the last word in each word group, regardless of the context, failing to deaccent old information. This is due to interference from Japanese, in which old information is not necessarily deaccented. (c) In terms of tone, too, they tend to make errors caused by interference from Japanese.
   These three weak points will be discussed using experimental Fx data from audio recordings of the subjects.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Taniguchi, Masaki (2003): "Intonational interference in Japanese learners' English", In ICPhS-15, 965-968.