English Vowel Spaces Produced by Japanese Speakers: The Smaller Point Vowels' and the Greater Schwas'

Kaoru Tomita, Jun Yamada, Shigenobu Takatsuka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

This study investigated how Japanese-speaking learners of English pronounce the three point vowels /i/, /u/, and /a/ appearing in the first and second monosyllabic words of English noun phrases, and the schwa /e{schwa}/ appearing in English disyllabic words. First and second formant (F1 and F2) values were measured for four Japanese speakers and two American English speakers. The hypothesis that the area encompassed by the point vowels in the F1-F2 vowel space tends to be smaller for the Japanese speakers than for the English speakers was verified. The hypothesis that the area formed by the three schwas in chicken, spoonful, and Tarzan is greater for the Japanese speakers than for the English speakers and its related hypothesis were largely upheld. Implications for further research are briefly discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)375-391
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Psycholinguistic Research
Volume39
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Keywords

  • First formant values
  • Japanese speakers
  • Point vowels
  • Schwas
  • Second formant values
  • Vowel quality
  • Vowel spaces

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Psychology(all)
  • Linguistics and Language

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