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Fiscal Year 2000 : ¥400,000 (Direct Cost : ¥400,000)
Fiscal Year 1999 : ¥200,000 (Direct Cost : ¥200,000)
Fiscal Year 1998 : ¥400,000 (Direct Cost : ¥400,000)
Fiscal Year 1997 : ¥1,500,000 (Direct Cost : ¥1,500,000)
This research paper examines the temporal organization of 3 to 5-mora of Japanese words, not by pursuing the isochrony of each word, but by analysing the durational characteristics of the rhythm units which are the posited constructs of each word. This idea originates from the hypothesis that the Japanese speech rhythm is perceptually induced by the realization of the rhythm units which are characteristically arranged in a word. In respect to rhythm category, although it has been said that Japanese is a mora-timed language, so-called 'mora hypothesis' has not yet been verified. In this respect, our purpose of this paper is not to deny the 'mora-hypothsis', but just to describe the differences in the temporal organizations of words spoken by native speakers of Tokyo dialect compared with the ones by Japanese learners of different native languages, specifically from the viewpoint of the arrangements of the rhythm units. The materials used were 3, 4, and 5-mora words, totaling 62 words,
which were presentede in a carrier sentence「sorewa...........desu」('It is..........'). The informants were 3 native speakers of Tokyo Japanese, 6 of Chinese, 4 of American English, 6 of Korean and 1 Mexican Spanish speaker. They were asked to pronounce the material words three times each by looking at the pictures and by reading the letters on the paper.
After following the measurement criteria posited for this research, the duration of a whole word and of each rhythm unit in a word were measured. The ratios of each unit, then, were calculated for each informant. As for the characteristics of the arrangements of rhythm units, the results obtained for the native Tokyo speakers are as follows :
1)The rhythm units which are phonologically identical show differences in durational values and ratios.
2)The rhythm units which are phonologically different show great variation in durational values and ratios depending on the phonological environment they appear.
3)The ratios of each rhythm unit has its own range of variation.
Compared with the results of the Tokyo speakers, the learners show quite different arrangements of the rhythm units. Especially the realization of rhythm unit 1s which are in the final position of words is characteristic. They tend to become rhythm unit 2 which means they are forming so-called bimoraic foot type rhythm. As for the Korean learners, the realization of 212 type of 5-mora words is quite different from the rest of the learners. The last point to be mentioned is that as for the reading the letters and the pronouncing while looking at the pictures, there were differences in the durations of whole words for 4 separate groups of learners. For the ratios of each rhythm unit, only the American learners show significant differences in both of the recording methods. Less