Building and Analysis of Asian English Speech Corpus : Japanese Speakers' Phonemic Recognition of English Consonants

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Asia has the largest English speaking population, so it is important to understand the characteristics of Asian English for speech technology research and for effective EFL teaching. In this paper we will explain the construction of the Asian English Speech cOrpus Project (AESOP), and discuss results from our analysis of consonantal variation in 94 Japanese speakers' read English speech of "the North Wind and the Sun". Many segments (6,620) deviated from the model pronunciation (American English). Analyzing consonant variations confirmed the Japanese speakers' phonemic interpretation of English consonants; i.e. they produced more variants for consonants which are not phonemes in Japanese. For example, they substituted /r/-type consonants for /l/ more than /l/-type consonants for /r/, and also commonly substituted [b] for/v/, but did not substitute [v] for /b/. Therefore, these results confirm that Japanese speakers use Japaneee phonemes to interpret English sounds.


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