The effects of lexical familiarity on the perception of Japanese consonants by Thai learners of Japanese

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Tanporn Trakantalerngsak


This paper presents the results of a preliminary study investigating the effects of lexical familiarity on the identification of the Japanese [ts] by Thai native speakers learning Japanese. The results showed that the degree of lexical familiarity can be shown to influence the degree to which Thai learners perceive accurately. Thai learners were better at identifying words of high lexical familiarity than words of low lexical familiarity and nonsense words. However, the results also indicated that inexperienced and experienced learners perform similarly at identifying the target sound. After years of learning, experienced learners still struggled with the contrast. Lastly, the findings of this study have relevance to theoretical issues in cross-linguistic speech perception. The pedagogical implications for Japanese pronunciation teaching and learning are also discussed.


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