Publication |Sophia Linguistica

Articulatory differences between plosives /g/ and /k/ in Japanese: A case study using MRI data


Masako Fujimoto, Tatsuya Kitamura, Seiya Funatu


We investigated the articulatory differences between voiced and voiceless plosives /g/ and
/k/ in /agise/ and /akise/ of Standard Japanese using MRI. Results showed that /k/ tended
to have a wider closure range on the midsagittal plane and longer closure duration than /g/.
These results are in line with previous studies. Also, the oral closure tended to occur
earlier for /k/ than for /g/. Although the phonological conditions and the number of the
samples were limited, the fact that the voiceless consonant occludes earlier than its voiced
counterpart in the speakers of Standard Japanese, in addition to Kinki dialect speakers in
our previous studies, suggests that many Japanese speakers share this tendency. Further
quantitative studies are necessary to verify the current results.