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(English below) ほとんどの音声学の教科書は読みにくいと思いませんか?大体カタカナの用語が多くてドライな感じでしょう?最初に音声学の授業を受けた時に本当にそう思いました。日本の授業だったのに、英語の教科書を使って、学生が皆翻訳しながら学ばないといかなかった。そして例があっても、英語の例なので日本人のクラスメートにはとてもわかりにくい気がしました。 慶応の川原繁人大先生の新しい入門書、「音とことばのふしぎな世界:メイド声から英語の達人まで」、は違います。わかりやすい日本語で書いてありますし、流れはほとんどの教科書と違います。典型的な音声学の教科書は発音記号から、調音、音響、知覚まで分野に分けて説明しますが、この「音とことばのふしぎな世界」のチャプターはある謎から初めて、音声学を説明しながら推理小説みたいにミステリーを解けます。例えば、メイドさんの声は普通の声とどういう風に違うのか、[r]と[l]の違いは何のか、そう言う興味深い謎から発展します。外国人の僕でさえ原稿を読んで、わかりやすいと思いましたので入門書として抜群と思います。そして僕が描いたフィギュアもちょっと入ってます! Have you ever looked at a phonetics textbook and thought, “Geez, this is really dry and boring”? I sure have. I remember when I first started learning phonetics here in Japan, we had this very standard,

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Posted in Phonetics and Phonology


先週会津大学で初めて口頭発表した。しかも、日本語で!原稿はこちら:語母語話者・日本語話者の英語の子音クラスター調音 ちょっとテクニカルな話しだけど、かいつまんでいうと、日本人は英語を話している時に複数の子音を一緒に発音するのが難しい。典型的な説明は、日本語のルールでは子音の後必ず母音がないといかない、なので日本人が母音を挿入する。でも「bright」という英単語の調音を詳しく分析すると、挿入母音というよりも、舌先と唇を同時に動かすのが不慣れだから舌先が遅れる。

Posted in Uncategorized

Our poster presentation for ICPhS in Glasgow: or, what the heck is Jeff researching?

This is the poster we’re presenting this week in Glasgow, designed by yours truly. In quick, layman’s terms: We had people say the phrase ‘Pam said bat that fat cat at that mat’, with emphasis placed on different words. We

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Posted in Phonetics and Phonology

Teaching kids at the National Museum of Nature and Science

Last weekend, our lab gave a demo at the National Museum of Nature and Science here in Tokyo. They were running an event called Science Square, where kids can come and meet scientists and engineers and participate in hands-on activities.

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Posted in Phonetics and Phonology

Do you see what I’m saying? Lip-reading in a second language

Studies on speech perception have tended to focus on sound as the only cue. In speech sciences, we usually talk about phonemes in terms of sounds, and we think of the ‘speech signal’ as being acoustic, mainly. But sound isn’t

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Posted in Paper Summaries, Phonetics and Phonology

Read my lips, bilingual babies!

When I first heard about this study, I was in the middle of writing up my MA thesis on the effects of video for learning new speech sounds. I was washing the dishes and listening to the Science Friday podcast—I’m

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Posted in Brains, Paper Summaries

331st Meeting of the Phonetic Society of Japan

Today I took the very long, arduous 5 minute walk to Waseda campus, and heard five talks from phoneticists in and around Tokyo. I used to feel pretty nervous about going to these kinds of meetings, but now that I

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Posted in Phonetics and Phonology
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