ISCA Archive ICSLP 1994
ISCA Archive ICSLP 1994

Discrimination of English /r-l/ and /w-y/ by Japanese infants at 6-12 months: language-specific developmental changes in speech perception abilities

Teruaki Tsushima, Osamu Takizawa, Midori Sasaki, Satoshi Shiraki, Kanae Nishi, Morio Kohno, Paula Menyuk, Catherine Best

In this study, we investigated language-specific developmental changes in Japanese infants' perceptual discrimination of English approximants, /r-l/ and /w-y/ at 6-12 months. It was found that both /r-l/ and /w-y/ were discriminated at 6-8 months. At 10-12 months, however, /w-y/ was discriminated, whereas /r-l/ was not. The present findings support the following conclusions; 1) a developmental decline in discrimination of non-native approximants occurs toward the end of the first year, consistent with earlier reports on non-native stop consonant contrasts; 2) phonemic factors are crucial in accounting for the observed decline, given that discrimination of a native approximant contrast remains good throughout the first year.


Cite as: Tsushima, T., Takizawa, O., Sasaki, M., Shiraki, S., Nishi, K., Kohno, M., Menyuk, P., Best, C. (1994) Discrimination of English /r-l/ and /w-y/ by Japanese infants at 6-12 months: language-specific developmental changes in speech perception abilities. Proc. 3rd International Conference on Spoken Language Processing (ICSLP 1994), 1695-1698

@inproceedings{tsushima94_icslp,
  author={Teruaki Tsushima and Osamu Takizawa and Midori Sasaki and Satoshi Shiraki and Kanae Nishi and Morio Kohno and Paula Menyuk and Catherine Best},
  title={{Discrimination of English /r-l/ and /w-y/ by Japanese infants at 6-12 months: language-specific developmental changes in speech perception abilities}},
  year=1994,
  booktitle={Proc. 3rd International Conference on Spoken Language Processing (ICSLP 1994)},
  pages={1695--1698}
}