3pSC1. Japanese production of English segmentals using visual feedback.

Session: Wednesday Afternoon, December 4

Time: 5:45

Author: Stephen G. Lambacher
Location: Ctr. for Lang. Res., Univ. of Aizu, Aizu-Wakamatsu, Fukushima, 965-80 Japan


This paper focuses on the use of visual feedback as a tool in helping Japanese learners improve their production of English segmentals. Each student was equipped with a Sony workstation containing a sound analyzer able to measure frequency, duration, pitch, and intonation. Subjects received training in the pronunciation of English stop, fricative, affricate, and liquid sounds using visual feedback during a 13-week period. A pre- and post-test consisting of English words containing the target sounds within a varied-vowel environment in sentence frames was administered before and after the subjects received instruction. Critical-band analysis was performed on a short segment within the steady state of the target sounds, and the resulting acoustic properties of Japanese production of the target sounds were examined and compared. Formant frequencies were calculated from an FFT frequency response with a pre-emphasized, low-pass filter. A sampling frequency of 19 kHz with a frequency range between 0 and 5000 Hz was used. Results from the post-test show general improvement in production of each of the target consonants after students are instructed and exposed to visual feedback. These results will be discussed, along with some practical ideas of how to effectively utilize visual feedback to improve production of English segmentals.

ASA 132nd meeting - Hawaii, December 1996