The perceptual assimilation of Korean obstruents by native Mandarin listeners

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


The current study reports the results of a perception experiment in which 20 naive native Mandarin listeners classified and rated the goodness of Korean stops /p, t, k, ph, th, kh, p*, t*, k*/, affricates /t, t*, th/, and fricatives /s h, s*/ in terms of Mandarin segmental categories. It was found that listeners were sensitive to the voice onset time dimension of Korean stops and the presence of aspiration in Korean affricates, but Korean lenis and aspirated obstruents were generally assimilated to a single Mandarin category because the f0 cue differentiating them is not relevant to any Mandarin segmental contrast. The affricates were perceived as alveolopalatal and postalveolar more often than alveolar. The perception of fricatives was strongly influenced by vowel context, as the two fricatives were often perceived as different categories before /a/, but as the same category more often before /i/ and /u/. The results for the affricates and fricatives may be partly explained by Mandarin phonotactic constraints that prohibit alveolar and postalveolar consonants before /i/ and alveolopalatal consonants before /a/ or /u/.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1585-1595
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


Dive into the research topics of 'The perceptual assimilation of Korean obstruents by native Mandarin listeners'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this