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19

It is worth pointing out that in Japanese, different dialects use different accent patterns for the same word. The Japanese language taught as a foreign language is most likely to be 標準語 (ひょうじゅんご), which is based on the Tokyo dialect. Therefore, probably the “correct” accent pattern to use should be that of the Tokyo dialect (as in your examples of はし). ...


13

It is actually very much the same as homonyms in English. Consider the difference between refuse |riˈfyoōz| and refuse |ˈrefˌyoōs; -ˌyoōz|. It sounds weird if you mix up the pronunciation: I |ˈrefˌyoōs| to accept this. It's bad English and identifies you as a non-native speaker. If the context doesn't give enough hints as to which refuse you meant, it ...


12

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 ...


10

父 and 乳 cannot be differentiated by pronunciation (including accentation). While the word titi "father" is attested in Old Japanese (8th century), titi "breasts" is not extant until the 17th century. However, it is more complicated than that. titi "breasts" is a reduplication of ti "breasts" which is extant in OJ. Also, titi "father" seems to be a ...


10

Two pointers : Yoko Hasegawa, Against marking accent locations in japanese textbooks, Japanese-Language Education Around the Globe. 柴田{しばた} 武{たけし}・柴田{しばた} 里程{りてい}, アクセントは同音語{どうおんご}をどの程度{ていど}弁別{べんべつ}しうるか ---日本語{にほんご}・英語{えいご}・中国語{ちゅうごくご}の場合{ばあい} (Is Word-Accent Significant in Differentiating Homonyms in Japanese, English and Chinese?) Abstract : To ...


8

The difference does not appear on 別に, but appears on the part following it. In the first usage ('nothing particularly'), the word following 別に maintains its own accent nucleus, so the tone lowers at the beginning: Capital = High tone, Lower case = Low tone beTSUNI waRUi koto beTSUNI [end of accent nucleus] beTSUNI iGAMIATte iru In the second ...


8

You may be familiar with the concept of sentence-level pitch changes in English; for example when you are asking a question, you end the sentence with a rising pitch to indicate that it is indeed a question. Japanese also has sentence-level pitch changes, but more relevantly to this question, it has word-level pitch changes. In the standard (Tokyo) ...


8

It's a matter of pitch accent. In a manner somewhat similar to Chinese, Japanese actually has 2 tones that establish its inflectional patterns. They aren't widely taught to foreigners because the patterns vary amongst regions (e.g. Osaka and Tokyo are near-opposite), but one purpose that they do serve is to distinguish between homophones. According to the ...


8

In terms of etymology, みずうみ is indeed derived from two words, but it's now a single word—much like how English housewife is a single word, even though it's clearly derived from house + wife. This doesn't really matter for how you pronounce two /u/ vowels in a row, though. You just hold the sound for an extra beat ("mora"), like it's a long vowel: ...


8

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 ...


7

First of all, knowing pitch is not as simple as knowing the pitch on each word. There are many morphological endings that make pitch change on verbs and adjectives. For instance, taBEru becomes TAbete because -te will make the pitch shift to the 3rd mora from the end when the verb has pitch. Pitch also changes when 2 words or more form a new compound word ...


7

It's still understandable without correct accents, most of the time, but if you were able to use the correct intonation, then you would gain better fluency in Japanese obviously. I sometimes check at this site to check the the correct accents. For example for that chopsticks「箸」, and bridge「橋」


7

Yes, accents change when words are combined/conjugated/etc. I'm not sure if there are any truly sentence-level phenomena, but there is definitely more going on than just "words have the same accent all the time". The NHK dictionary does include a fair bit of information about these rules. To take your examples -- here are some answers I got from consulting ...


6

The NHK pronunciation dictionary prescribes that: 付く, 着く, (羽根を)撞く, (職に)就く, (嘘を)吐く, (位に)即く, (明かりが)点く, and (餅を)搗く all have the accent on the first or second mora (with first preferred: HL) 突く has no accent (so in isolation it is LH, but note that this is not the same as accent-on-the-second-mora LH when other words follow) Hope this helps!


5

It is strange that the explanatory notes do not explain this, but two numbers in Daijirin mean that both pitches (in this case HLLL and LHHL) are used. As for the pitch of this specific word まんまと, I pronounce it as HLLL, and I am not sure if I have ever heard まんまと with pitch LHHL.


5

In Nagoya, ありがとう is pronounced as LHLLL (see below), where L and H mean low and high pitches, respectively. I think that this is the same in Tokyo, too. Correction: According to the publisher webpage on the book アクセントの法則 by Haruo Kubozono, the accent pattern of the word ありがとう is as follows: Tokyo: LHLLL Nagoya: LLHLL Osaka: LLLHL Kagoshima: ...


5

I believe so. I can't find an explicit affirmation (I provided sources which I've read before, but I could have forgotten or missed such a statement), but for present tense adjectives in the Kyoto-Osaka dialect, it seems the accent falls on the antepenultimate mora (third to last) for trimoraic words or longer, otherwise it falls on the penultimate mora for ...


4

The changes are basically regular based on the "original accent" of each word, but (1) these "original accents" are not set in stone; (2) people/groups speak differently; and (3) pitch accent, like any linguistic phenomenon, is constantly changing. (I'm going to skip the discussion of whether accent exists, etc., and just stipulate that the last "high" mora ...


4

You will be perfectly understood even if your pitch isn't "good". In cases where there is an ambiguity, people will either infer the intended word or just ask for clarification. If you want to learn a pitch, you can buy pitch dictionaries like this one.


4

Very insightful point! I think you are right that pitch matters. As a case in point, say if my daughter is reading a textbook aloud in homework and gets a pitch wrong, I would correct her, because it's noticable. On the other hand, Japanese dictionaries written for Japanese do not have the pitch information either, and people from different regions often ...


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 ...


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 would say both うん and ううん are pronounced often without opening the mouth, ううん even more so than うん. I think (う)ん and (う)んん comes closer to the pronunciation; or even ん and んんん, like you suggested.


2

I think pronunciation is the same. But emphasis / intonation for #2 could be different, depending on the situation. Another example that might illustrate it better is 「怒っているの?」「べつに。。。」 Where the second person really is upset, even though he is responding with 'not particularly'. In which case this person may respond with added emphasis as if they are ...


2

Not all ambiguous pairs can be distinguished by pitch, and we could just as easily provide you with loads of other ambiguous statements where NOTHING other than context could lead you to the right meaning. This kind of thing happens in all languages: in English, if I tell a female friend "You have a nice pair/pear", she'll rely on context (I hope) to tell ...


2

I have made 2 videos that offer a general overview of the system (a third is yet to come): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EeaLEC6KO20 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKWrmxYmdy4 You can also consult my page on pitch accent (which is also referenced in the Wikipedia article another user mentions), although it's still very much a work in progress: ...


2

Japanese is mostly understandable to native speakers with incorrect pitch. There are a few words like "shiro", 城 or 白, which can be confused depending on context. If you are worried about pitch accent, there are dictionaries of pronunciation such as the NHK published one, "日本語発音アクセント辞典". This is intended for native speakers who want to speak like TV ...


2

If not, does anyone have a reasonable explanation for why 父 and 乳 have the same pronunciation I do have one: the relatively limited number of words than can be made from composing the sounds of kanas. You are doomed to have either a lot of homophones, or a lot of very long words… I believe that evolution led to having shorter words with collisions ...


1

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 ...


1

Standard Japanese has what is known as a "downstep" accent rather than free pitch accent like some dialects (notably Kansai) have. Basically, the "accent" in the handbooks represents the last high syllable. Thus, "na-tsu-ka-SHI-i" would be pronounced "na-TSU-KA-SHI-i". The downstep is after the "shi". The first syllable is always low unless a downstep ...



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