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The vowel drop described in your textbook happens between consonants. However, even though the vowel is dropped, the rhythm of the word isn't changed. [[s.ki.de.s]] ↔ [[su.ki.de.su]] (the dot . denotes separation of syllables). You cannot do the same with the [[i]] in かわいいです [[ka.wa.i.i.de.s(u)]] or うれしいです. (I don't understand your comment about ...


2

The vowels aren't "dropped"; they simply become voiceless, which is explained (poorly) to English speakers as being "dropped" because the concept of voiceless vowels doesn't exist in English. In these two examples, the い is voiced in both cases. For かわいい, the voicing of わ means that the first い is voiced, and thus the adjacent final い must also be voiced. ...


2

You have such a good ear, don't you? According to my personal observation, in this case it's not that like free or conditional variants, but rather loose (lax) pronunciation of interjections. And I suspect what you heard are not more open but more mid-centralized (there may be generation gaps, but I'm not sure...). While the regular //e// and //o// in ...



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