We aim to understand the mechanism of human language acquisition through the investigation of Japanese phonological development.

Reiko Mazuka

Reiko Mazuka, Ph.D.

Team Leader, Language Development
reiko.mazuka [at] riken.jp

Research Overview

We investigate how young infants become interested in speech that surround them, and learn to be the speaker of that language. In particular, we focus on the role of 'prosody' (i.e., intonation, rhythm and other suprasegmental characteristics of the speech) in language acquisition. We study how infants become attuned to the prosodic characteristics of their ambient language, and how acquiring it would affect other domains of language development.


Selected Publications

  1. Guevara-Rukoz, A., Cristia, A., Ludusan, B., Thiollière, R., Martin, A., Mazuka, R., and Dupoux, E.:
    "Are words easier to learn from Infant- Than Adult-Directed Speech? A quantitative corpus-based investigation."
    Cognitive Science, 42(5), pp.1586-1617. (2018)
  2. Ota, M., Yamane, N., and Mazuka, R.:
    "The Effects of lexical pitch accent on infant word recognition in Japanese."
    Frontiers in Psychology: Language Sciences, 8, pp.2354. (2018)
  3. Akimoto, Y., Takahashi, H., Gunji, A., Kaneko, Y., Asano, M., Matsuo, J., Ota, M., Kunugi, H., Hanakawa, T., Mazuka, R., and Kamio, Y.:
    "Alpha band event-related desynchronization underlying social situational context processing during irony comprehension: a magnetoencephalography source localization study."
    Brain and Language, 175, pp.42-46. (2017)
  4. Ludusan, B., Mazuka, R., Bernard, M., Cristia, A., and Dupoux, E.:
    "The role of prosody and speech register in word segmentation: A computational modelling perspective."
    Proceedings of the 55th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Short Papers), pp.178-183. (2017)
  5. Mazuka, R., Hayashi, A., and Kondo, T.:
    "Sounds of infant-directed vocabulary: Learned from infants’ speech or part of linguistic knowledge?"br> Journal of the Phonetic Society of Japan, 21(1), pp.45-58 (2017)
  6. Miyazawa, K., Shinya, T., Martin, A., Kikuchi, H., and Mazuka, R.:
    "Vowels in Infant-directed speech: More breathy and more variable, but not clearer."
    Cognition, 166, pp.84-93.(2017)
  7. Hirose, Y, and Mazuka, R.:
    "Exploiting pitch accent information in compound processing: A comparison between adults and 6- to 7-year-old children."
    Language Learning and Development, 13(4), pp.375-394. (2017)
  8. Sugiura, L., Toyota, T., Matsuba-Kurita, H., Iwayama, Y., Mazuka, R., Yoshikawa, T., and Hagiwara, H.:
    "Age-dependent effects of Catechol-O-Methyltransferase(COMT) Gene Val158Met Polymorphism on language function in developing children."
    Cerebral Cortex, 27(1), pp.104-116. (2017)
  9. Hayashi, A., and Mazuka, R.:
    "Emergence of Japanese Infants’ Prosodic Preferences in Infant-Directed Vocabulary."
    Developmental Psychology, 53(1), pp.28-37. (2017)
  10. Martin, A., Igarashi, Y., Jincho, N., and Mazuka, R.:
    "Utterances in infant-directed speech are shorter, not slower."
    Cognition, 156, pp.52-59. (2016)