Is there conflation? An acoustic analysis of vowels in Japanese English

Yamaguchi, Toshiko and Chiew, Poh Shin (2020) Is there conflation? An acoustic analysis of vowels in Japanese English. Asian Englishes, 22 (1). pp. 35-51. ISSN 1348-8678, DOI

Full text not available from this repository.
Official URL:


This article examines whether conflation, a term introduced by Nihalani, occurs among English vowels produced by four Japanese native speakers reading a short English text. On the basis of perceptual, acoustic, and statistical methods, it is argued that conflation is not key to understanding the structure of vowels in Japanese English (JE). Having inspected vowel variants, we conclude the following. First, since conflation is not guaranteed, singular emphasis on suprasegmental features is untenable. Second, vowel space in JE tends to be centralized. As a result, speakers have more difficulty producing open back vowels. Third, the centralized vowel [a], substituted for five vowels (/æ/, /ə/, /ʌ/, /ɜ/, /ɑ/), is not statistically speaking a single sound. Fourth, JE speakers produce near-native vowels to different degrees. Statistical test results showed no significant difference between the pronunciation of the open-mid vowel [ʌ] produced by JE speakers and an American English speaker. © 2019, © 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Conflation; Japanese English; variants; vowels
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PE English
Divisions: Faculty of Languages and Linguistics
Depositing User: Ms. Juhaida Abd Rahim
Date Deposited: 05 Jun 2020 02:50
Last Modified: 05 Jun 2020 02:50

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item