Pharyngeal /h/ in Japanese
Keywords:Individual choice, Multiple resolutions, Speech research, University of British Columbia
AbstractA lingual ultrasound study that was conducted to test whether Japanese h shows evidence of an independent pharyngeal place of articulation is presented. Seven native speakers of standard Japanese participated in the experiment. All stimuli were pseudo words, phonologically and morphologically controlled. Recording was conducted in the Interdisciplinary Speech Research Laboratory at the University of British Columbia. Participants were trained to read all tokens with initial-accent at a natural rate. The possibility of multiple possible feature specifications as above may come from the phonetic ambiguity of h. It is classically dubbed as 'fricative,' implying it behaves like consonants, but could be 'glide.' Interestingly, although the multiple resolutions are available, the individual choice is found to be discrete and categorical.
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