The labial-coronal effect revisited: Japanese adults say pata, but hear tapa.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

The labial-coronal effect has originally been described as a bias to initiate a word with a labial consonant-vowel-coronal consonant (LC) sequence. This bias has been explained with constraints on the human speech production system, and its perceptual correlates have motivated the suggestion of a perception-production link. However, previous studies exclusively considered languages in which LC sequences are globally more frequent than their counterpart. The current study examined the LC bias in speakers of Japanese, a language that has been claimed to possess more CL than LC sequences. We first conducted an analysis of Japanese corpora that qualified this claim, and identified a subgroup of consonants (plosives) exhibiting a CL bias. Second, focusing on this subgroup of consonants, we found diverging results for production and perception such that Japanese speakers exhibited an articulatory LC bias, but a perceptual CL bias. The CL perceptual bias, however, was modulated by language of presentation, and was only present for stimuli recorded by a Japanese, but not a French, speaker. A further experiment with native speakers of French showed the opposite effect, with an LC bias for French stimuli only. Overall, we find support for a universal, articulatory motivated LC bias in production, supporting a motor explanation of the LC effect, while perceptual biases are influenced by distributional frequencies of the native language.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Tsuji, S; Gomez, NG; Medina, V; Nazzi, T; Mazuka, R

Published Date

  • December 2012

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 125 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 413 - 428

PubMed ID

  • 22921188

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1873-7838

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0010-0277

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.cognition.2012.07.017


  • eng