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This question should be broken into two different questions: When and how did small-tsu come to represent consonant gemination. When and how did consonant gemination (as represented by small-tsu) came to be in Japanese. (For those who don't know the term: gemination simply means doubling of sounds, usually consonants. It's easy to get the sense ...


9

It is common in songs, and it is not specific to children’s songs. In the first case, the pitch of the lyric line is probably something like: し(G) ら(G) ん(G) ぷ(G) り(G) を(F#) し(G) た(E) っ(F#) て(D) but if you try to sing this as it is, there is a problem: gemination is not a sound but just a pause, and you cannot sing it with any pitch. Therefore, the ...


7

The question is ambiguous. Are you looking for a word with two pronunciations, or a word with two pronunciations with slightly different nuances? – Tsuyoshi Ito 5 hours ago @TsuyoshiIto: The former. – Andrew Grimm 5 hours ago Since it appears from these comments that you are just looking for words with 2 (or more) pronunciations, then, yes, there ...


5

Your example case is a little strange and without more context, I am not sure about the intent. In general cases, just like Amanda said: it indicates a word being cut-off (or sometimes a very strong exclamation). An interesting aspect is that it seems to work a little different from the equivalent in Western languages, in that it does not actually cut-off ...


4

The usage of the small tsu っ to be used officially as a geminate consonant can be traced back to the Japanese government in 昭和六一年七月一日 (July 1st 1986(I believe)). You can read the bulletin by the 文部科学省 (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology; MEXT) that discusses this: 4 促音 っ 例 はしって(走) かっき(活気) がっこう(学校) せっけん(石鹸*) 〔注意〕 ...


4

It's like a つ that gets dropped. You see it often in compound words where the first part would end in つ by itself. e.g., 発見(はっけん). 発 is pronounced はつ by itself. はつけん is a little bit uncomfortable to pronounce, so it becomes はっけん. There are at least dozens if not hundreds of examples that follow this pattern. Edit This is not the only place that the ...


4

My first impression is that the only purpose of the extra mora is to create an additional mora for rhythmic reasons. Vowel lengthening does occur for expressive reasons, but I don't think any connection can be drawn to gemination. From a phonological perspective, I see no reason a vowel would lengthen before a geminate. I don't recall ever seeing such a ...


3

Not hugely confident in this answer, but I'll try. The gemination is supposed to be accomplished by a glottal stop in speech, and singing with a glottal stop is awkward at best and would sound strange even done properly. I imagine that the vowel lengthening is done to fill in a mora for rhythm/time purposes, and to indicate the omission. (That is, I know ...



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