The past

Many many years ago, I earned a Masters degree in Old Japanese philology, writing a thesis on Kungana evidence for the number of phonemically distinct syllables in Old Japanese. My thesis advisors were Haruo Aoki, Jim Matisoff, and Leanne Hinton. As part of the requirements for the degree, I also studied Classical Chinese with a great group of fellow UC Berkeley students such as Mary Garrett, Gerry Karin, Bob Sanders, Lou (Chapman) Unger, and many others whom I have unfortunately lost track of.

After leaving Berkeley, I entered the doctoral program at Cornell University, where Sue Hertz taught me a lot about speech synthesis as we developed a set of synthesis rules for Japanese using SRS (the rule development system that she created before moving on to formalize Autosegmental Phonology in the DELTA system).

After I earned my doctorate in linguistics at Cornell, I spent a little time working in Osamu Fujimura's group at what was then AT&T Bell Laboratories. This was when I did the experiments on perception of English accent and Japanese akusento that were added to my dissertation research to make the book Stress and non-stress accent. This also was when I started the collaboration with Janet Pierrehumbert that produced (among other things) our book on Japanese tone structure.

The present

I am lucky to have great colleagues in the Department of East Asian Languages here at Ohio State University with whom I can talk about the historical development of and current variation across dialects of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. I've also learned a lot from them from having co-taught courses with some of them -- one on Chinese phonetics and phonology with Marjorie Chan and one on Japanese phonetics and phonology with Jim Unger. But they're the experts on these languages, and if you want to talk about the history of these languages, they're the people to talk to, not me.

I also continue to learn a lot from people in the Linguistics Department who work on various topics in linguistics involving Japanese, Korean, or some variety of Chinese. For example, recent graduate Jeff Holliday did a dissertation on Native-Language and Native-Dialect Effects in Learning to Perceive a Difficult Phonetic Contrast in Korean. Helen Riha did a Masters thesis with Marjorie Chan on The morphology and semantics of hybrid lettered words in Chinese and then went on to do a dissertation on Lettered words and roman letter characters in Chinese writing which she plans to make into her first monograph. Kyuchul Yoon continues to stay in touch, sharing the TTS resources he developed in writing his dissertation on Building a prosodically sensitive diphone database for a Korean text-to-speech synthesis system. Kiwako Ito, a Research Scientist in the department, works on the phonetics and psycholinguistics of intonation and information structure. Her talk on "The effect of contrast-marking intonation on visual search in Japanese and English" is representative of this strand of her work.

A stint as a member of the external advisory committee for the Spontaneous Speech Processing and Recognition project that developed the Corpus of Spontaneous Japanese also taught me a great deal and was a chance to get caught up with the work of Kikuo Maekawa seven years after he had spent a sabbatical year as a Visiting Scholar at OSU. One of the important outcomes of the CSJ development project is that it employed several of the most promising members of the next generation of Japanese linguists, people such as Kiyoko Yoneyama (who also was a graduate of our program), Ken'ya Nisikawa, and Yosuke Igarashi, the latter two of whom went on to work with Reiko Mazuka in a project to annotate and develop search tools for a terrific corpus of Japanese child-directed speech.

As all of this reference to other people's research implies, I don't myself do much work anymore on East Asian languages, although ...

Some niggly bits of current research

I have had a bit of a hand in developing the transcription conventions for prosody and intonation in several East Asian Languages, including Korean, Japanese, Cantonese, Mandarin, and Taiwanese (Southern Min Chinese), but (again) the real experts here are the authors of any papers or URLs about these conventions -- people such as Sun-Ah Jun, Sook-hyang Lee, Jennifer Venditti, Kikuo Maekawa, Hideaki Kikuchi, Yosuke Igarashi, Peggy Wong, Marjorie Chan, Tsan Huang, Eunjong Kong, Ok Joo Lee, Shu-hui Peng, Ho-hsien Pan, and Janice Fon.

I'm also involved in a project on cross-linguistic phonological acquisition with Jan Edwards, which looks at young children acquiring a number of languages, including Hong Kong Cantonese, Tokyo Japanese, Seoul Korean, and the Songyuan dialect of Mandarin Chinese. The relevant people to contact about this work include Peggy Wong, Kiyoko Yoneyama, Eunjong Kong, and Fangfang Li.