Sixth International Conference on Spoken Language Processing
(ICSLP 2000)

Beijing, China
October 16-20, 2000

Visual Information and the Perception of Prosody

Haruo Kubozono (1), Shosuke Haraguchi (2)

(1) Kobe University; (2) Meikai University, Japan

This paper reports the results of a phonetic experiment carried out to explore the potential importance of visual information for the perception of Japanese prosody and its relationship with phonological structure. It specifically examines whether and to what extent native speakers of Japanese are able to accurately perceive the temporal structure of their native language on the sole basis of visual information. It has been found that the word-final contrast between short and long vowels is totally invisible to the native speakers although other types of temporal differences characteristic of mora-timed languages are readily visible as a crucial distinction in the mora-timed language. Interestingly, essentially the same confusion occurs in Japanese phonology, where word-final long vowels tend to be shortened and neutralized with their short counterparts.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Kubozono, Haruo / Haraguchi, Shosuke (2000): "Visual information and the perception of prosody", In ICSLP-2000, vol.3, 454-457.