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Perception of devoiced /sil/ and /syu/ in Japanese: The "segment" reconsidered

Beckman, Mary; Shoji, Atsuko


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    <subfield code="a">Perception of devoiced /sil/ and /syu/ in Japanese: The "segment" reconsidered</subfield>
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    <subfield code="a">&lt;p&gt;We examined devoiced /si/&amp;nbsp;and /syu/ syllables in Japanese to see if their spectral and perceptual characteristic s conform to traditional accounts of speech production as a motor translation of discrete, static segments. Measurements of the lowest-frequency spectral prominences in the syllabic [J] of these syllables showed a spectral coloring of the fricative by the deleted vowel segment similar to fricative-vowel coarticulation in other languages.&lt;/p&gt;

&lt;p&gt;Perception tests showed that Japanese listeners can use this spectral coloring as a cue to the identity of the underlying vowel, although identification was substantially less than perfect, varying with the strength of the spectral coloring.&lt;/p&gt;

&lt;p&gt;These results suggest that a supposedly lower-level motor interaction between the fricative and the vowel can occur before a higher-level process deletes the vowel, contradicting the order implied by traditional accounts.&lt;/p&gt;</subfield>
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