9th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Brisbane, Australia
September 22-26, 2008

The Intelligibility of the English Vowel /ʌ/ Produced by Native Speakers of Japanese and Its Relations to the Acoustic Characteristics

Akiyo Joto

Prefectural University of Hiroshima, Japan

This paper examined the intelligibility of the English mid-low central vowel /ʌ/ produced by 20 native Japanese speakers (JE /ʌ/), and the acoustic characteristics of JE /ʌ/ according to the different levels of intelligibility. Five native English speakers evaluated the intelligibility of JE /ʌ/ in the word "but." F1 and F2 frequencies and the duration of JE /ʌ/ were measured and compared with those of /ʌ/ spoken by native English speakers and the Japanese vowel /a/. It was found that JE /ʌ/ with lower intelligibility was more often misheard for the low front vowel /æ/ by the American listeners and tended to have a longer duration and higher F1 and F2 frequencies. L1 transfer occurred in the pronunciation of /ʌ/ by the Japanese speakers, which resulted in the differences in the perception of JE /ʌ/ by the native English speakers.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Joto, Akiyo (2008): "The intelligibility of the English vowel /ʌ/ produced by native speakers of Japanese and its relations to the acoustic characteristics", In INTERSPEECH-2008, 1964-1967.