Third International Conference on Spoken Language Processing (ICSLP 94)
We studied how French subjects learning Japanese perceive tonal accent under different experimental conditions. The perceptual experiment included 3 tests using 3-, 4-, and 5-syllable words with different tonal accents. In Test 1, the stimuli were presented in isolation, in Test 2, words were extracted from short sentences, and in Test 3, the target stimuli were embedded in a carrier sentence with 4 syllables preceding and following the target word. Ten French students participated were asked to detect the "high-low" tone change in the words. The average score was 66% for Test 1, 49% for Test 2, and 45% for Test 3. Japanese subjects obtained an average score of 86%. The results suggest that the perception of tonal accent is language-dependent.
Bibliographic reference. Nishinuma, Yukihiro (1994): "How do the French perceive tonal accent in Japanese? experimental evidence", In ICSLP-1994, 1739-1742.