Reference data on Japanese vowel devoicing: Effects of speakers' and parents' places of origin and within-speaker reproducibility

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Abstract

This study provides reference data on vowel devoicing in Japanese spontaneous speech for forensic and other speech investigations. We analysed the running speech of 226 speakers in order to examine how the places of origin of the speakers and their parents influence the occurrence frequency of vowel devoicing. According to the dialect distribution map of vowel devoicing, we classified the speakers into two dialects: the dialect where vowel devoicing occurs frequently (D<sub>F</sub>) and that where devoicing occurs infrequently (D<sub>IF</sub>). The results showed that D<sub>F</sub> speakers with D<sub>F</sub> parents devoiced the vowels most frequently, while D<sub>IF</sub> speakers with D<sub>IF</sub> parents devoiced them the least. The devoicing of speakers with parents of different dialects was in between. Some speakers, irrespective of whether they were D<sub>F</sub> or D<sub>IF</sub>, showed a percentage of vowel devoicing that contradicted their dialects while keeping the accentuation and intonation of their dialects. We further examined within-speaker variability in vowel devoicing. We found that the speakers who devoice vowels frequently showed consistent devoicing, whereas those who devoice them infrequently showed occasional and inconsistent devoicing. Forensically, we should not simply judge a speaker's dialect by using the occurrence frequency of vowel devoicing; instead, we should also look at its reproducibility and other dialect-dependent features.

Journal

  • Acoustical Science and Technology

    Acoustical Science and Technology 39(3), 207-214, 2018

    ACOUSTICAL SOCIETY OF JAPAN

Codes

  • NII Article ID (NAID)
    130006730816
  • NII NACSIS-CAT ID (NCID)
    AA11501808
  • Text Lang
    ENG
  • ISSN
    1346-3969
  • NDL Article ID
    028992379
  • NDL Call No.
    Z53-X48
  • Data Source
    NDL  J-STAGE 
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