Japanese natives segment speech into morae. The current study tested whether this extends to perception of geminate consonants: do Japanese natives rely on the moraic obstruent /Q/, and if so, which acoustic feature is perceived to characterize /Q/? Based on an informal interview, we hypothesized that Japanese natives rely on /Q/ that is represented as a silent duration. If so, it should be more difficult for them to distinguish 'geminate fricative consonants /ss/' and 'a silent duration plus singleton fricative consonant /_s/'. Two experiments with Japanese and Dutch natives compared discrimination and categorization accuracy of pseudo words including /ss/ and /_s/. Japanese natives discriminated them well while they poorly categorized them. Dutch natives performed both tasks relatively well. These results are in line with our hypothesis. This provides further support for the language specific listening.
Index Terms: geminate consonant, moraic obstruent, perception
Bibliographic reference. Sadakata, Makiko / Shingai, Mizuki / Brandmeyer, Alex / Sekiyama, Kaoru (2012): "Perception of the moraic obstruent /q/: a cross-linguistic study", In INTERSPEECH-2012, 891-894.