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18

The sound you hear in HI is not really a "sh" (as the English "sh"), but neither is the sound SHI an "sh". While it's very easy to learn to pronounce Japanese sufficiently, Japanese pronunciation does have its quirks, and you have to get used to it. The "sh" situation (or fricative situation, as we'd call it in linguistics lingo) is one of them. Let's first ...


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 ...


9

I've heard sound like: Haru na kimasu. So why is that? I'm going to be very frank here. I think it's because you're not yet able to distinguish intervocalic [ŋ] from [n] and [m]. Incidentally, listening to the passage you link to, I hear [ŋ] in the first, [ɡ] in the second ocurrence of しごと. Do the Japanese not like the g sound (g as in gorilla)? It's not ...


8

Not perfect but you could point out that in "see" the S sound is very similar to the S sound in さ [sa] but different from the S sound in しゃ [sha] or し [shi], and that the EE sound is very similar to the Japanese い [i]. That's how I have introduced it to students in the past. They almost certainly would have never noticed that the beginning S sound of し [shi] ...


8

Another possibility is that the /g/ is being lenited into a voiced velar fricative /ɣ/, as is common between vowels in Japanese. (See "Handbook of the International Phonetic Association: Japanese" by Hideo Okada, or Wikipedia.) Further, since the second /g/ has rounded vowels (/o/) on both sides, it is likely to be somewhat rounded (/ɣʷ/ = /w̝/). The ...


7

This is the result of a well known devoicing rule in Japanese. Devoicing means that there is no vibration of the vocal folds. For example, the difference between [s] and [z] is only that [z] is voiced. The IPA diatric for devoiced phones is a circle at the bottom of the glpyh eg [z̥]=[s]. Although there is still much dialectual, idiolectual (the way a ...


6

From my experience, it's no different than リー as you mentioned. My name has a シ in it, although it has been incorrectly guessed to be an elongated sound by people who don't know me that well. As such, there have been occasions when my former Japanese teacher (older woman) and 事務員's have written it as both シー and シィ.


5

Intervocalic ん is usually pronounced as a nasalized version of the preceding vowel, so in this case [ã]. This would lead to a pronunciation of ワンマン運転を (I'm adding the を from the clip, since otherwise I wouldn't be able to determine the pronunciation of the last ん in 運転) sounding something like [wa.m.ma.ã.u.n.te.ẽ.o] (dots between morae, tilde over a ...


5

According to "Handbook of the International Phonetic Association: Japanese" by Hideo Okada, /ɽ/ is pronounced postalveolar in place rather than retroflex[...]. Initially and after /ɴ/, it is typically an affricate with short friction, . In a more Unicode-friendly notation, this could be transcribed as [ɖɻ̝̆] (where again, these aren't really retroflex ...


5

Wikipedia seems to say it is alveolar lateral flap, as opposed to the otherwise alveolar (central) flap. If you are serious, maybe you might want to try the article cited there. Trying this with myself, I seem to get the difference. I seem to be able to freely alternate an initial alveolar lateral flap with a centered one, but not a non-initial alveolar flap ...


5

There are some significant differences between Kansai-ben and what you see in textbooks, I'm not sure where you would get the idea that the only difference was in pitch emphasis. There are some very significant pitch-differences, but that's not the only change. (Personally, I felt the pitch changes were much easier to notice in Kyoto, but that might have ...


5

Your first assumption is correct, it is a matter of accent. Consider the mouth shape and action required to form the sound for ひ (hi). By tightening and pressing the tongue closer to the roof of your mouth, the air rushes across your tongue and hits the back of your front teeth creating the SHHH sound. Also consider that in the native Japanese phonology し ...


5

I guess that it depends on dialects, but when vowels /i/ and /ɯ/ are “devoiced” in the Tokyo dialect, these vowels are actually dropped and the preceding consonant fills the mora. Moreover, if the vowel is /i/, the consonant is palatalized. This blog article (in Japanese) gives a fairly detailed description of “devoiced vowels” in the Tokyo dialect.


5

That is actually a valid question. I did some reading and here's what I found (from Wikipedia): Moraic Nasal Neutralisation, Archiphoneme and Underspecification: Some analyses of Japanese treat the moraic nasal as an archiphoneme /N/. However, other, less abstract approaches take its uvular citation pronunciation as basic, or treat it as a regular ...


4

Update: This might interest you: On the Phonological Derivation and Behavior of Nasal Glides (R. L. Trigo Ferre, 1988). (PDF available here, I assume legally.) I claim that nasal ‘absorption’ occurs when the occlusion of a nasal stop is removed or weakened considerably to the point where it is a glide. A nasal glide without any place features, [N], is ...


4

I know a children's song, かえるのうた (The Frog's Song, The Frog Song) I'm not sure if you'd classify it as a lullaby, but it has a simple melody and can even be sung in a round (I think of it as the Japanese "Row, Row, Row your Boat") Here's a link: Frog Song Note: There seems to be a regional difference where the line "Gero gero gero gero" is replaced with ...


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 ...


4

As you have already picked up on, the intonation (change in pitch) of words is vastly different. A common example is the pronunciation of the word 日本. Osaka: Starts high, and pitch lowers  --   _  _ に ほ ん Standard: Starts low, and pitch raises and then lowers  _   -   _ に ほ ん However this is ...


4

Well, I can again only speculate, but if they say it did not have /h/ but had /ɸ/ and nowadays it have /h/, it have probably evolved from that /ɸ/. When I played with my mouth and tried to say /hɯ/, with stiff lips as the Japanese /ɯ/ is to be pronounced, than I get a sound which resembles rather /ɸɯ/. So, maybe it is ok to try to say /hɯ/, you say /ɸɯ/ ...


3

The different pitch accent patterns is easily the most noticeable phonetic difference when you look at the Kansaiben dialects (and it's important to mention that this is a group of dialects rather than a single dialect with no internal regional variation), so it's easy to conclude that this is the only real different in pronunciation between standard ...


3

Searching for bagero bakayaro on Google yielded the following quote, a firsthand account of the time when "bagero" appeared on the scene. It cites "bakayaro" as its source word: Thursday, March 26, 1942 ... And for the first time we heard the word "bagero"[24]... [24] Bagero = bakayarō, a strong term of abuse frequently used by Japanese ...


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 ...


3

I usually hear people draw out the long "su" at the end of a sentence when giving some sort of presentation or speech (where it gives emphasis to speaker's sentence... or, perhaps, gives the speaker more time to think about what to say next.) It happens in English, too, like when a voice-over announcer makes something sound more dramatic. In most general ...


3

I've got an old PDF folder full of papers on Japanese, and I managed to pull up two which might be helpful. (I've been on the search for a full detailed phonetic study of Japanese. Add a comment if you know of some other technical resources!). The first, the open paper Processing missing vowels: Allophonic processing in Japanese (Ogasawara and Warner, 2009) ...


2

I've long been puzzled by this. I've been told it was more common in Kansai, but I've definitely heard it in Tokyo, although I have no idea where the people were originally from. People have told me it was a dialectal difference, only to get caught saying it themselves later. Go figure. It's particularly common in short expressive phrases like そう(なん)です~. I ...


2

I have no evidence, but I guess what you think is right. This person (be careful with the link; the back button does not work) is saying the same thing. 'Kuntoroyo' sounds close to この野郎 (kono yaroo) 'You bastard!' to me.


2

It seems that there is a tradition to describe the sound of Latin /va/ as ウァ(which would be pronounced the same as ワ) in Japanese. This might spill over into Latin words used in actual Japanese, but the result is mostly a stylistic effect and/or a snobbery effect. There is only one /w/ phoneme in Japanese.


1

There is good reason why there is no entry in the ヤ行, イ列. As far as I can tell, Japanese phonology doesn't compress the [j] enough to distinguish [ji] and [i]. (Yin is called [印]{いん}, for example.) So, the ィ is definitely a lengthening of the sound. Using the small kana (ぁぃぅぇぉ) over the 長音 (ー) or the tilde (~) makes it look like the lengthening is part of ...


1

If I'm understanding your question correctly, you are asking about differences in phonology between Japanese dialects, except pitch accent and vowel devoicing. Since you're especially interested in Kansai-ben, one that I can think of is the slight differences in how /g/ is pronounced. To summarize it roughly, many eastern speakers have [ŋ] as an allophone ...



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