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

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003

Duration and Quality in the Production of the Vowel Length Contrast in L2 English and L2 Japanese

Motoko Ueyama

University of Bologna, Italy

English and Japanese have a vowel length contrast between tense vs. lax, and long vs. short vowels, respectively. However, they differ in the magnitude of the duration contrast (larger in Japanese) and in the role of vowel quality in the production of the contrast (active only in English). How do these differences affect L2 English-L1 Japanese and L2 Japanese-L1 English? For each L2 production, we investigated duration and quality of the vowel length contrast. The results present an asymmetry between the two L2 types. The cause of the observed asymmetry is discussed by taking L1 phonemic characteristics into account.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Ueyama, Motoko (2003): "Duration and quality in the production of the vowel length contrast in L2 English and L2 Japanese", In ICPhS-15, 1509-1512.