An Investigation of Syllable Structure on Word Processing in Japanese

米山 聖子(オハイオ州立大大学院)

This paper reports the results of two structural-induction experiments, which investigated whether the syllable is employed by Japanese listeners in auditory word processing in Japanese. The probability with which listners heard words of each structure was varied (onset, coda and baseline conditions). The results in Experiment 1 showed that in the coda induction condition, the [n] target in the coda were detected significantly faster than the [n] target in the onset, although this was not observed in the onset induction condition. The results in Experiment 2 in which [m] was used as a target replicated the findings in Experiment 1. The findings in the current study provided further evidence that Japanese listeners are sensitive to moraic structure in auditory word processing in Japanese. However, it did not show clear evidence of the use of the syllable.