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

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003

Lexical Accent in Kagoshima Japanese Children

Ayako Shirose (1), Kazuhiko Kakehi (2), Shigeru Kiritani (3)

(1) Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, Japan
(2) Nagoya University, Japan
(3) Kobe Kaisei College, Japan

This paper investigates the acquisition of Kagoshima Japanese. Kagoshima Japanese is one of the major groups of Japanese accent. Experiments on the production of lexical accent were carried out for both the Kagoshima children and adults. The results showed that 1) Kagoshima children seemed to acquire their native accent incorrectly. Previous research suggested that the course of acquisition of correct native accent may be a linguistic universal; however, our results indicated that kindergarten-age children fail to acquire their native accent and the course of acquisition of accent is not invariant, namely, it is not a linguistic universal; 2) the children's production of accent was less consistent than the adults'. This result suggested that the children's accent system is on the way to being established. Taking these results together, we can say that the emergence of incorrect accent in the Kagoshima children is due to the unestablished accent system.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Shirose, Ayako / Kakehi, Kazuhiko / Kiritani, Shigeru (2003): "Lexical accent in Kagoshima Japanese children", In ICPhS-15, 1955-1958.