In Chinese, you have four tonal inflections. (See the first graphic at the link.) Prior to today I thought that this was not true of Japanese, that while like English, certain words sound better pronounced in certain ways, the tonal inflections were not strictly enforced by some common written rules. (By which I mean the inflection signs above the letters. I'm not an expert so apologies for poor descriptions.)

This comment on a Japanese Duolingo exercise was what changed that idea.


How can we know when this occurs for certain words? Do some (online) dictionaries have this distinction, and could you point me to some resources that describe how these words sound differently in general? Thanks.

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