Working paper Open Access
The acoustic and perceptual characteristics of Japanese devoiced and voiced syllables, [Ji] and [Jm], were examined. Coarticulation effects of the following vowel were observed in the fricatives of both devoiced and voiced syllables, although the effects were weaker in devoiced syllables. Coarticulation effects of the following consonant were also observed in the fricatives in de voiced syllables, but not those in voiced syllables.
Perception tests suggest that Japanese listeners use the fricative's center of gravity as a primary vowel cue, rather than the spectral peak in the fricative. Theoretical implications of the present results for different analyses of the Vowel Devoicing phenomenon are discussed.