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seen Jul 11 at 15:13

Jul
10
comment Does Japanese have a silent ん?
Just a note: at the end of prosodic units, it's not uncommon for N to be pronounced as [m]. In fact, it's difficult for most Japanese speakers to control the place of articulation of word-final nasal consonants in English (ie. I'm done vs I'm dumb)
Feb
22
comment How does pitch accent work in Japanese?
Except that nobody acquires it automatically. If you care about how you speak the language, it's worth learning, and it's worth the effort. I'm surprised at how easily people dismiss it as useless, simply because it's difficult. I think that if you work as a English teacher, for instance (and this is common enough in Japan), to be able to demonstrate that you can do a decent job of Japanese is an effective way to gain credibility.
Nov
21
comment Insertion of “y” sound between vowels
Accurate answer, but it could be made easier to understand. I think the problem simply comes from the fact that an English speaker would expect to find a glottal stop before a word starting with e and o (which, phonetically, is not wo, but o), but since there is no glottal stop in Japanese, and since particles effectively form part of the word they are attached to, this run-in of sounds confused him.
Nov
20
comment Is accent position predictable for -i verbs in Osaka/Kansai?
Many thanks for the detailed answer and the references.
Nov
15
comment Is accent position predictable for -i verbs in Osaka/Kansai?
"Are accent positions predictable in Kansaiben" would be a MUCH wider -- and complex -- question, whereas the OP is asking about -i adjectives only.
Nov
8
comment Why do Japanese speakers have difficulty pronouncing “L”?
You are right, l is sometimes written but not pronounced, however l and r and never spelled one way and pronounced the other. In that sense, I meant that they aren't misleading.
Nov
7
comment Why do Japanese speakers have difficulty pronouncing “L”?
Japanese /r/ can surface as either [l] or [r], but these are not English r or l, if that's what you mean. There are several kinds of l's and r's across languages.
Nov
7
comment Why do Japanese speakers have difficulty pronouncing “L”?
[l] and [r] are free variation allophones in Japanese -- allophones needn't be in complementary distribution. The fact that /r/ can surface as [l] in slower speech (and more so in certain positions) IS proof that it's an allophone; [r] is undefined for laterality. As for my comment about using katakana, it was poorly worded: I meant that using katakana for words of English origin makes learning them as English words more difficult, and use of katakana when learning English does learners a disservice. English spelling can indeed be misleading, but not when it comes to l and r.
Nov
6
comment Is accent position predictable for -i verbs in Osaka/Kansai?
From what I know about Standard Japanese (one of the pages linked to in the Wikipedia article is mine), this is what I would deduct -- but I know very little about Kansaiben, so my assumptions could be wrong. It appears here that the -i adjective ending is a -3 morpheme -- when you add it, it assigns pitch accent to the antepenultimate mora. The two examples you list (oishii and shindoi) do not fit the pattern presumably because they underlyingly already have their own pitch which supercedes the -i morpheme. One option would be to see if changing the ending to -katta confirms this.
Nov
6
comment Why do Japanese speakers have difficulty pronouncing “L”?
@snailplane, I tried changing the title. How's that?
Nov
6
comment Why is “Xy” pronounced as “Ki Shi” in Xylitol「キシリトール」?
The origin of the word is not a direct indication of its pronunciation -- scientific words are regularly created out of Latin and it's a dead language. In the case of xylitol, though the word may be Greek in composition, it is almost certainly not the case that the word actually came to Japanese (or any other language) from Greece per se.
Nov
6
comment Why do Japanese speakers have difficulty pronouncing “L”?
"I've never really understood why learning systems adopted "R's" when "L's" seem closer in sound" -- I'm guessing here you are refering to romaji using r instead of l. Maybe you are thinking about the English r, but generally, the Japanese r sounds the same as r in most other languages, so it does make sense to use r instead of l in romanization systems.
Nov
6
comment Why do Japanese speakers have difficulty pronouncing “L”?
l does exist in Japanese, but not as a distinct phoneme (ask a Japanese speaker to say ringo slowly, it should sound like l, especially for women). Furthermore, if you are going to use n as an analogy, it would be to indicate where the tongue is placed, and that place is the same for l, n, d, t, s, z, ts and dz -- all of which are Japanese sounds.
Nov
6
comment Why do Japanese speakers have difficulty pronouncing “L”?
l and r both exist in Japanese, but they are allophones of a single phoneme. And I'm not sure what a cross between English R and L would sound like, but certainly not what Japanese would pronounce in a word like Engrish. I would downvote, but I think your last comparison with x and sh is valid.
Nov
6
comment Why do Japanese speakers have difficulty pronouncing “L”?
Oh come on, the question was clear even though it says "Japanese people". It could have said "native speakers of Japanese", but we still all got the question.
Oct
17
comment Except for pitch, what are the differences in pronunciation between Kansaiben and Tokyoben?
Japanese has pitch accent, English has stress. French has neither. All three languages have intonation; it's a different thing entirely. You can say boku with raising intonation or not, depending on your intent, but boku will always remain HL.
Oct
17
comment Rules for emphasizing by lengthening sounds
Since g and ng (as in English -ing) are interchangeable, you can have ng-g, gg and double ng. However, you will never get g-gn.
Oct
17
comment Except for pitch, what are the differences in pronunciation between Kansaiben and Tokyoben?
No. Japanese has pitch accent whereby every mora surfaces as either high or low, which differs from intonation, which every language has.
Aug
27
comment Why is “Xy” pronounced as “Ki Shi” in Xylitol「キシリトール」?
@nkjt Excellent answer, except that if the Japanese borrowed the word from German and followed the IPA you mention, then the result should be closer to the German transcription you offered of クシュ...
Aug
27
comment Why is “Xy” pronounced as “Ki Shi” in Xylitol「キシリトール」?
@phoenixheart6 It may come from Greek etymologically, but it hasn't stopped English from saying it otherwise, so it's irrelevant. Greek is used to form words, but they are not directly borrowed from Greek so the original pronunciation is not retained.