Take the 2-minute tour ×
Japanese Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for students, teachers, and linguists wanting to discuss the finer points of the Japanese language. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I'm interested in why the extra small tsu in included in the word デバッグ but not バグ.

Are there any rules governing voicing in words formed via reduplication?

Lyman's rule may explain this, but does anyone know any more information on why the triple voiced compound is resolved by adding a small tsu (like maybe why a long sound or something different isn't used)

share|improve this question

2 Answers 2

up vote 12 down vote accepted

I'm fairly certain that this has to do with pitch in Japanese and accentuation in English.

The natural pitch for デバグ【HLL】 is HLL, whereas デバッグ【LHLL】 would naturally be LHL (and バグ【HL】 is HL). To mimic accentuation by pitch (i.e. accented syllables get a high pitch after transliteration), the ッ is necessary to give the バ a (natural) high pitch. バグ already has the right pitch pattern and the best pronunciation approximation to "bug".

(Besides, バッグ is already a word, although here the ッ is probably used to imitate the /æ/ sound, like in キャシュ "cash".)

So both バグ and デバッグ are to be the expected transliterations, and either pair バッグ/デバッグ and バグ/デバグ has shortcomings, albeit being more consistent in some sense.

share|improve this answer
    
This is probably the correct answer. Japanese loanwords also use long vowels to indicate a downstep in the middle of the long vowel, often to imitate English diphthongs where half of the diphthong is stressed. –  user54609 Nov 19 '13 at 14:09
    
@user54609 Could you give an example for "Japanese loanwords [that] also use long vowels to indicate a downstep in the middle of the long vowel, often to imitate English diphthongs where half of the diphthong is stressed"? –  Earthliŋ Nov 19 '13 at 16:15
4  
アニメーション /a.ni.meꜜ.e.sjon/ –  user54609 Nov 19 '13 at 20:50

I do not know for sure but suppose that it is highly related to the original word that was used.

In case of デバッグ this easily may be debugging, not the debug. And then formal transliteration was contracted even shorter. We know many examples like colloquial バイト which is a contraction of アルバイト.

Of course this is only a theory and more detailed answer is highly appreciated.

share|improve this answer
1  
interesting to note, though, that the wikipedia page for バグ refers to a buggy program as "バギー・プログラム," and I'd assume that it would be transliterated the same way as debugging. I wonder if it's just an irregularity? –  ssb Nov 19 '13 at 4:23
    
I think most Japanese programmers don't use the phrase "バギー・プログラム". –  noel_lapin Apr 16 at 9:24

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.