(If the question is inappropriate here, please direct me to an appropriate site or forum)

In an effort to simplify the acquisition of pitch in L2 learners (ie. myself), I created a pdf document that groups verb endings and morphemes into more manageable groups: Verb Pitch Table.

However, reliable data is difficult to establish.

Can anyone confirm that the data is accurate for Standard or Tokyo Japanese?

I asked 2 Japanese speakers (1 quickly, 1 in detail) and it seems okay. The only problem is that some of the data conflicts with what I found in my NHK Accent dictionary. For instance, after accentless verbs, でしょう、だろう、らしい are said to have pitch on the antepenultimate mora, but this was thought to be odd by the speakers I asked;とも is said to be HL but the one speaker thought it should be H]LL (downfall occurs before). My goal is to create a quick and easy reference for anyone wanting to sound like the average speaker of the Greater Tokyo Area.

I realize the question is complex, but I hope to provide an efficient method to help learner predict pitch in all verbs with the help of a simple all-encompassing tool.

  • 1
    It took me several (not a few) seconds to figure out what you mean by "pitch are expressed in bold" in the document. I think you mean "the accent nucleus is expressed in bold". I suspect a beginner will mistakenly take it that the bold expresses high pitch and normal weight low pitch.
    – user458
    Nov 11, 2011 at 1:16
  • 1
    You don't have an explanation for what the vertical line means. If you mean fall of pitch, then it is strange that you do that for falling pitch, which is clear given the accent nuclues, and nevertheless not do it for raising, which is less obvious.
    – user458
    Nov 11, 2011 at 1:24
  • 3
    @alexandrec: as it is, your question is too localised for JLU: it involves an external document which will likely disappear in the near future, leaving a question that is neither intelligible nor useful for any future visitor. Please remedy that by embedding part of it in your question or in any other way that makes your question suitable for this site.
    – Dave
    Nov 11, 2011 at 1:58
  • 3
    I understand the motivation behind the "-3", "-2"-style notation, but it is a bit oversimplified and might be misleading in some cases. For example, "accented + て" is "-3", which is correct for 食べて but incorrect for 射て (-2) and 帰って (-4). Also it tends to obscure larger patterns, like behavior before ない-conjugations like なくて, なかった etc, where the length of the final morpheme is not really relevant to the location of the pitch nucleus.
    – Matt
    Nov 11, 2011 at 3:56
  • 3
    @alexandrec I definitely recommend checking out either NHK's or Shinmeikai's approach to the issue -- it's not the dictionary part I'm recommending so much as the 解説 at the front/back, which includes summary tables and rules quite like what you seem to be doing here.
    – Matt
    Nov 11, 2011 at 7:08


Browse other questions tagged .