Publication |Sophia Linguistica

A Study on the Acquisition of Stops of Japanese Learners of Chinese: From a VOT Perspective


Wangshu Wu


The acquisition of the contrast between aspirated and unaspirated consonants in Chinese
is known to be difficult for learners whose first language is Japanese. It is reported in Zhu
(1997) that Japanese learners of Chinese show difficulty in both perception and production
of distinguishing aspirated and unaspirated consonants. Considering that voice onset time
(VOT) is usually used as the main factor for the contrast of aspiration and voicing since
Lisker (1964), this article aims to expound the reason of the difficulty in perception and
production of Japanese learners of Chinese by comparing their VOT values against to
those of Chinese native speakers.