Updated on 2024/06/19


Faculty of International Research and Education, School of International Liberal Studies
Job title
Assistant Professor(non-tenure-track)



Internal Special Research Projects

  • Segmental foreign accent in the interaction of Spanish and Japanese


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    Pérez-Ramón, R., García Lecumberri, M.L., & Cooke, M. (2023). The role of lexical context and language experience in the perception of foreign-accented segments. Poznan Studies in Contemporary Linguistics, 0. Abstract: The present study explores the use of lexical context by listeners when identifying segments with various degrees of foreign accent. Native English listeners identified words into which a single Spanish-accented segment from a 5-step continuum had been inserted. Listeners also identified vowel-consonant or consonant-vowel sequences containing the same accented segments. While lexical context helped, the lexical advantage was largely independent of degree of foreign accent, with a slight benefit only for the most accented consonants. To examine the influence of listeners’ first language on the usefulness of lexical context, a second experiment was carried out with Spanish, Japanese and Czech non-native listeners. As was the case for native listeners, there was little evidence that a lexical context helps more for foreign-accented than native segments. Normalised for word familiarity, overall non-native identification patterns were comparable to native listeners’ perceptions.Kondo, M., & Pérez-Ramón, R. (2023). Perception of Japanese accented English segments in words. Journal of Second Language Studies. Abstract: We studied the perception of segmental boundaries in native English and Japanese accents in terms of foreign accentedness, intelligibility and discrimination accuracy. Five American English vowels /ɪ, æ, ɑ, ə, ɝ/ and seven consonants /r, l, v, θ, f, th, kh/ were extracted from English and Japanese words produced by an American English-Japanese bilingual speaker, and manipulated, with the acoustic properties shifting gradually from 100% Japanese to 100% American English. Perception tests were conducted online with native American English speakers, and groups of Japanese speakers with either low or high English proficiency. All three groups showed a negative correlation between the degree of foreign accent and intelligibility. Also, there was a greater reduction in intelligibility due to acoustic deviation from the native norm in consonants than in vowels.Cover Paper in Languages (accepted: January 2024). Abstract: Second language learners often encounter communication challenges due to a foreign accent (FA) in their speech, influenced by their native language (L1). This FA can affect rhythm, intonation, stress, and the segmental domain, which consists of individual language sounds. This study looks into the segmental FA aspect, exploring listeners' perceptions when Spanish interacts with English. Utilizing the SIAEW corpus, which replaces segments of English words with anticipated Spanish accented realizations, we assess the ability of non-native listeners to discriminate degrees of accent across male and female voices. This research aims to determine the impact of voice consistency on detecting accentedness variations, studying participants from Japanese and Spanish. Results show that, while listeners are generally able to discriminate degrees of foreign accent across speakers, some segmental transformations convey a clearer distinction depending on the phonological representations of the native and accented realisations on the listener's system.Conference in UCM (February 2024). Presentation of my research to the group GRIFFOS (Group of Phonetics and Phonology of Oral and Signed Languages) at Universidad Complutense de Madrid.Pérez-Ramón, R., Kondo, M., Detey, S., Fontan, L., Amand, M., & Kamiyama, T. (2023, August. Nativeness and Intelligibility of Japanese accented English Consonants by French Listeners. In International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPHS 2023) (pp. 2581-2585). Abstract: The presence of a Foreign Accent (FA) in the communicative process may interfere with the correct transmission of a message. This can affect perception by both L1 and L2 listeners. Therefore, in this study we focused on the segments of Japanese FA in English as perceived by French listeners. Seven consonants ([l, ɹ, th, kh, θ, f, v]) were extracted from the beginning of CVC English words. Using sound manipulation techniques, they were transformed into their most expected Japanese realisation ([ɾ, ɾ, t, k, s, ɸ, b] respectively) to generate a new set of words in which only the first segment was accented. The French cohort showed clear differences in perceived intelligibility of rhotic consonants and the [f/ɸ] contrast compared with previously analysed groups of Japanese and American listeners. Yazawa, K., Pérez-Ramón, R., & Kondo, M. L2 proficiency predicts L1 accentedness and comprehensibility. Abstract: Learning a second language (L2) can change the pronunciation of one’s first language (L1), but its implications for communicative dimensions such as accentedness and comprehensibility remain unclear. In this study, L1 recordings of 183 Japanese learners of English living in Japan were rated for accentedness and comprehensibility by a cohort of Japanese listeners. The resulting scores were compared with those of a previous similar assessment, in which the L2 recordings of the same speakers were rated for nativelikeness by English listeners. Statistical analyses revealed that those who were judged to be more nativelike in the L2 tended to be perceived as more foreign-accented in the L1, but surprisingly, their L1 speech was also perceived as more comprehensible.