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There are three differences rhythm たんい has three morae ("syllables"), where as たに has only two. sound たんい has a uvular ("nasal") /ɴ/, i.e. [ta.ɴ.i], whereas たに has a "normal" /n/, i.e. [ta.ni]. pitch たんい【HLL】 drops in pitch after the first mora, たに【LH】 drops in pitch after the second mora. Try to listen for all three differences, they're all important. ...


It's done because it makes it easier to read and understand when no kanji are used. Easy to read (general usage) [青]{あお}くて[小]{ちい}さな[僕]{ぼく}の[椅子]{いす}。 Normal(this question) アオくて ちいさな ぼくのイス。 Hard to read (hard to understand) あおくて ちいさな ぼくのいす。 Hardest to read (this might not be understandable) あおくてちいさなぼくのいす。 Impossible to read ...


単{たん}is pronounced たん and 位{い}is pronounced い. Together, they are pronounced たんい or tann-i. This is distinctly different from に or ni. For example, 谷{たに}is pronounced たに or tani. I don't know phonetic symbols so I apologize but you can sound these two out to hear how they are different.

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