Colorado Research in Linguistics

Document Type

Working Paper


This study looks for evidence of mora timing in Japanese from a phonetic point of view. Partly replicating an experiment by Port et al. 1987, the current study posits several hypotheses which support a less strict version of the mora hypothesis. Key points of those hypotheses are: (1) word duration is controlled by mora-based timing; but (2) temporal compensation in segments, to keep the word duration equal in respect to the number of moras, can be observed beyond a mora boundary. An experiment was conducted on 3 native Japanese speakers and 4 native English speakers and the results supported most of the hypotheses for Japanese speakers but not for English speakers, indicating that the former use more-based timing in a non-traditional way.



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