Effects of speaking style on the regularity of mora timing in Japanese.

Michael Connolly Brady, Robert F. Port, and Kyoko Nagao.

(Departments of Linguistics, Indiana University, Bloomington IN 47405)

The regularity of mora timing in Japanese has remained controversial over the years (Warner and Arai, 2001), Phonetica 58, 1-25. It is possible that the degree of regularity varies with speaking style. Four Japanese subjects spoke 6-mora proper names with varying syllable structures where the second name had either 3 simple syllables (e.g., Tomiko) or 2 syllables with a long vowel (e.g., Tooko) or a long consonant (e.g., Tokko). These were read either in formal sentences, read in conversational style sentences or used in spontaneous description of pictures of characters having these names. Moras were measured as the intervals between vowel onsets using an automatic vowel-onset detection algorithm. Although all styles suggested regular mora timing, the results show that the styles differ in the degree of temporal compensation for the moras constituted by long vowels and long consonants since they are shorter than consonant-vowel syllables. The compensation was clearest in the most formal style of speech.

[Abstract submitted to the 4th Joint Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America and the Acoustical Society of Japan on November 28-December 2 at Honolulu, Hawaii.]


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