First: When you call a young boy ぼく, is it LH or HL?

Second: When do boys saying 僕 move from LH to HL?

Third: When voice actors voice young characters, do they use HL or LH?

  • 1
    関東では[ぼく]{HL}, 関西では[ぼく]{LH}が主流かな、という気がします・・・
    – chocolate
    Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 16:09
  • @choco I had heard that children say it LH, while adults say it HL. Either it was wrong or only applies to Tokyo.
    – Angelos
    Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 16:21
  • 4
    Perhaps the question should be rephrased as "Do young children (even in Tokyo) pronounce 僕 with a LH accent pattern until a certain point?"
    – jkerian
    Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 22:24

1 Answer 1


I hear both ぼく{HL} and ぼく{LH} for a first personal pronoun even only in Tokyo, so you can use either one you like. I actually use ぼく{HL} more frequently than ぼく{LH}, but I DO pronounce ぼく{LH} occasionally.

As I feel both of them are pronounced regardless of age, I cannot declare which a voice actor voices.

ぼく{HL} seems to be used more often than ぼく{LH} when you call a young boy.

Furthermore, I looked up 僕 in accent dictionaries which tell us the pitch accent of many words in or around Tokyo. Each dictionary indicates two ways of accent, the left ones are considered to be more general than the right ones below.
I will omit the names and the authors of dictionaries, if you want to know I will add them as a comment.

  • ぼく{HL}; ぼく{LH} (1932)
  • ぼく{LH}; ぼく{HL} (1951)
  • ぼく{HL}; ぼく{LH} (1960)
  • ぼく{HL}; ぼく{LH} (1966)
  • ぼく{HL}; 《新》ぼく{LH} (1981)

The dictionaries say there have been two ways of for at least 80 years.

  • The dictionaries I quote above are as follows. 神保格・常深千里(1932)『国語発音アクセント辞典』 厚生閣 / 日本放送協会編(1951)『日本語アクセント辞典』日本放送出版協会 / 平山輝男(1960)『全国アクセント辞典』東京堂出版 / 日本放送協会編(1966)『日本語放送アクセント辞典』日本放送出版協会 / 秋永一枝編(1981)『明解日本語アクセント辞典』金田一春彦監修,三省堂
    – Toshihiko
    Commented Nov 29, 2015 at 9:47

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