A comparison between Japanese and Chinese adjectives which express auditory impressions

Shin-ichiro Iwamiya, Mingzhi Zhan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

A verbal rating experiment on timbre was conducted to compare the Japanese and Chinese adjectives which express auditory impressions. The auditory impression of various kinds of musical sounds was measured by a semantic differential method. Japanese scales were used for the Japanese subjects, and Chinese scales were used for the Chinese subjects. The scales used for both groups had the same literal meanings. The obtained data were analyzed by principal components analysis. The factors of sharpness, cleanness, and potency are obtained for the Japanese and Chinese scales. Most of Japanese and Chinese adjectives having the same literal meanings express similar auditory impressions. However, the pleasantness of sound has a different meaning in both languages. For the Japanese language, the pleasantness is independent from the basic three auditory factors. For the Chinese language, the pleasantness is proportional to the sharpness. Furthermore, in some other adjectives having the same literal meanings, differences of the auditory meanings are observed. We should take care when comparing the studies on verbal attributes of timbre in different languages.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-323
Number of pages5
JournalAcoustical Science and Technology
Volume18
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1997

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