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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: ...


7

The readings "kin" and "kon" are on-yomi pronunciations for 金. The "kon" reading is the older one (go-on 呉音) and "kin" is newer (kan-on 漢音). They ultimately stem from Middle Chinese /ki̯əm/; notice that 今 has the same on-yomi pronunciations. As a general pattern, go-on pronunciations are somewhat less common (relative to kan-on) in everyday words and more ...


2

The character 金 can refer the idea of gold, metal in general, or money. Most commonly, it is read as かね (kane, kun-yomi) and キン (kin, on-yomi) when occuring in compounds. There is also the コン (kon, on-yomi) reading which you mention. As Zhen Lin has pointed out, this is an older reading that is due to interaction between Japanese and Middle Chinese. ...



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