Taiwanese Learners’ Durational Patterns for Japanese Obstruent Geminates/Singletons and Adjacent Vowels1

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This study measured the durations of Japanese obstruent geminates/singletons and their adjacent vowels (V1 and V2) embedded in words repeatedly spoken by four intermediate-level Taiwanese learners of Japanese. The results indicated that the four learners were more or less at a native-like level in terms of geminate lengthening, but not in terms of the V1/V2 duration ratio. These findings suggest that for Chinese learners of Japanese, the learning of Japanese geminates consists of two stages: geminate/singleton phonemic contrast learning, followed by V1/V2 phonetic contrast learning. It is suggested that explicit instruction may be effective at the second stage.

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