Sixth International Conference on Spoken Language Processing
(ICSLP 2000)

Beijing, China
October 16-20, 2000

Rhythm Timing in Japanese English

Takeshi Tarui

Akenohoshi Women’s Junior College, English Dept., Urawa, Saitama, Japan

Due to the different sound systems of English and Japanese, obtaining a proper English speech rhythm is one of the greatest obstacles that Japanese face in their learning of English as a foreign language. Aims of this study are: 1) an explicit description of rhythm timing in English produced by four groups of Japanese subjects with different levels of English learning experiences in comparison with native speakers of English and 2) examinations and analyses of some underlying elements or factors which present obstacles for Japanese in obtaining proper English rhythm.

English speech rhythm at a sentence level is investigated, focusing on feet or ISLs (interstress intervals) and their sound structure with the following criteria; a) proper use of function and content words and b) proper application of isochronous English rhythm in sentences. In this study all the factors are to be examined and analysed with respect to duration.

Crucial transferred factors from underlying Japanese sound systems in Japanese English as well as the degree of difficulty in production have been obtained through comparison with the target English expressions.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Tarui, Takeshi (2000): "Rhythm timing in Japanese English", In ICSLP-2000, vol.4, 592-595.