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How Japanese speakers confuse the pronunciations of /hi/ and /si/

07 Apr 2021


Real-time MRI and supercomputer simulations reveal the production mechanisms of these sounds in a Japanese dialect

According to a linguistic survey report, people often confuse the pronunciation of /hi/ ([çi] in the IPA phonetic alphabet) with that of /si/ ([ɕi]) in the dialect of Tokyo and the Tohoku region of Japan. A team of researchers at Toyohashi University of Technology and the National Institute for Japanese Language and Linguistics (NINJAL) found that the confusion is resulted from the articulation of the tongue varying in the transverse direction while the tongue tip is positioned at the same place of articulation.

Full text: How Japanese speakers confuse the pronunciations of /hi/ and /si/
TUT website: Press release

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