Vowel onset marker based objective evaluation of Japanese phonemic length contrast produced by non-native speakers

Mee Sonu, Yanlong Zhang, Hiroaki Kato, Yoshinori Sagisaka

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Aiming at an objective evaluation of second language (L2) learner's Japanese timing control, this study proposes an objective measure to predict a subjective measure of L2 speakers' production given by Japanese native evaluators from the view point of goodness of production. The focus here is on phonemic length contrast, e.g., /kako/ "the past" versus /kakko/ "parentheses" and /kaze/ "wind" versus /kaze:/ "taxation" which is difficult for L2 learners particularly when incorporated with speaking rates. In this present study proposed an objective measure using a vowel onset time marker as a key perceptual and psychoacoustic marker to normalize speaking rate variations. The proposed new measure reflects tempo normalization between L2 learners by dividing the proficiency of mora-timing control in production. The experimental results show that both vowel length contrast and consonant length contrast have a significantly higher correlation with the subjective evaluation score in which the coefficient was stable than using a simple duration difference measure. These results suggest that applying the psychoacoustic parameters would be effective to build up an objective evaluation of L2 learners.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of Meetings on Acoustics
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes
Event21st International Congress on Acoustics, ICA 2013 - 165th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America - Montreal, QC, Canada
Duration: 2013 Jun 22013 Jun 7


Other21st International Congress on Acoustics, ICA 2013 - 165th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America
CityMontreal, QC


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics

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