Durational correlates of Japanese phonemic quantity contrasts by Cantonese-speaking L2 learners

Author(s): Albert Lee and Peggy P. K. Mok


This paper reports a production study of Japanese phonemic quantity contrasts by native speakers, beginner learners, and advanced learners speaking Cantonese as L1. The three groups were compared using various standard durational measures. It was found that both learner groups successfully distinguished all the quantity conditions, although they did so differently from their Japanese peers. Specifically, whereas the short vs. long contrasts were enhanced in slow speech by native speakers, such enhancement was absent in both learner groups. The pedagogical and typological implications of these data are discussed.