Acoustic and Perceptual Evidence of Complete Neutralization of Word-Final Tonal Specification in Japanese

Authors

  • Kazumi Maniwa

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.17161/KWPL.1808.590

Keywords:

Japanese language-- Tone

Abstract

This study investigated the extent to which the Japanese lexical pitch-accent distinction is neutralized in word-final position. Native speakers of Tokyo Japanese produced minimal word pairs differing in final accent status. Words were produced both in isolation and in a sentential context, where neutralization would not be expected due to following tonal specification. Examination of pitch patterns on relevant moras revealed a clear distinction between accent-opposed pairs produced in context but no such difference between items produced in isolation. Both the words produced in isolation and the words excised from sentential contexts were then presented to Japanese listeners in a lexical identification task. Participants could clearly distinguish items extracted from sentences but identified words uttered in isolation at chance level. These results suggest that phonological neutralization of final pitch accent is complete, showing no effects of underlying specification in either production or perception.

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How to Cite

Maniwa, . K. (2002). Acoustic and Perceptual Evidence of Complete Neutralization of Word-Final Tonal Specification in Japanese. Kansas Working Papers in Linguistics, 26, 93–112. https://doi.org/10.17161/KWPL.1808.590