The Initial Voiced Stops in Japanese

한국인 화자에 나타나는 일본어 어두 유성 자음의 경향 분석

  • 김선희 (수원대학교 일본어학과)
  • Published : 2002.12.01


In the Japanese language, there is a phonological contrast between not only initial stops, but also non initial in voiced and voiceless sounds. But in the Korean language, voiced sounds do not appear in the initial. Due to this, pronunciation of voiced sounds in the initial will be difficult for Korean. Through this research, I analyzed the minimal pairs by voiced/voiceless sounds of Japanese and Korean, and perception experiment in which Japanese listened to Korean speakers' pronunciations. Japanese pronunciations showed distinct acoustic differences between voiced and voiceless stops, especially in VOT. The duration of vowels after voiced stops was longer than that of voiceless ones. Vowel pitches after voiceless stops were higher. On the other hands, Korean showed three patterns of voiced sounds. There were-VOT values as native speakers, +VOT, and nasal formant tended to occur before prenasalized stops. Koreans pronounced voiceless sounds in strong aspirated, unaspirated, or tense sounds. Finally, Japanese judged sounds with not only -VOT values and prenasalized, but also with +VOT values as voiced. This suggests that we may not consider VOT values as the unique feature of voicing, and that such other phonetic characteristics as the following vowel lengthening should be included here.