8th European Conference on Speech Communication and Technology

Geneva, Switzerland
September 1-4, 2003


Word Activation Model by Japanese School Children without Knowledge of Roman Alphabet

Takashi Otake, Miki Komatsu

Dokkyo University, Japan

Recent models in word recognition have assumed that a word activation device which is based upon phonemes is universal. The present study has attempted to investigate this proposal with Japanese school children without knowledge of Roman alphabet. The main question addressed in this study is to test whether Japanese school children without Roman alphabet could activate word candidates on the basis of phonemes. An experiment was conducted with 21 Japanese elementary school children who were preliterate in Roman letters, employing a word reconstruction task. The results show that regardless of absence of alphabetic knowledge they could reconstruct Japanese words just like Japanese adults. This suggests that the current word activation model may equally be applicable to Japanese children as well as adults who are mora-based language users.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Otake, Takashi / Komatsu, Miki (2003): "Word activation model by Japanese school children without knowledge of roman alphabet", In EUROSPEECH-2003, 2105-2108.