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

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003

Vowel Reduction and Voicing Judgment of Following Stops - Comparison Between Japanese and English Speakers

Makiko Aoyagi, Masahiko Komatsu

Sophia University, Japan

Vowel devoicing in Japanese has gradient characteristics in production and perception. English also shows gradient devoicing in the vowel weakening process. A perceptual experiment on stop consonant voicing in (C)V1CV2 was conducted on Japanese and English speakers to test and compare the effects of the preceding vowel V1, gradually reduced from fully voiced, long with closure voicing to completely devoiced. Five types of /ki/ as CV1 were spliced with a da-ta VOT continuum as CV2. Subjects' judgment of the spliced kita/kida variations over a VOT range was compared with that of ta-da VOT variations. For both groups, strong effects of closure voicing and vowel devoicing were observed, and voicing judgment shifted toward voiceless with the gradual reduction of the preceding vowel, indicating the parallelism of phonetic, gradient vowel reduction and its perception.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Aoyagi, Makiko / Komatsu, Masahiko (2003): "Vowel reduction and voicing judgment of following stops - comparison between Japanese and English speakers", In ICPhS-15, 1457-1460.