I haven't been able to find a good source online, so I'm asking you guys. What is the pitch-accent rule for numbers? Is 十五 (じゅうご) a 0 or a 1 or a 3 or what? Is there a general pattern?

I realize that numbers in Japanese are a whole can of worms that I haven't completely understood just yet, but I think I understand the basic forms, though just not their pitch-accents.

In terms of my level, consider me an absolute beginner. Thanks!

  • 1
    I'm not sure what you mean by 0, 1 or 3. Perhaps describe your pitch accent notation convention a little.
    – Flaw
    May 17, 2018 at 4:32
  • @Flaw It's a common convention to describe pitch accent, often by dictionaries. There is a phonemic drop in pitch (a "downstep") following an accented mora. If you're used to LH notation, you can understand it this way: 0 means no accent (LHHH...), 1 means accent on the first mora (HLLL...), 2 means accent on the second mora (LHLL...), 3 means accent on the third mora (LHHL...), and so on.
    – user1478
    May 17, 2018 at 4:44
  • @Flaw snailboat is right. In addition, the difference between 0 and 3 for a 3-mora word would be that, if it's 0, any particles attached to it would have a high pitch, whereas if it's a 3, any particles attached to it would have a low pitch. (They're both LHH if said in isolation.) May 17, 2018 at 4:50
  • gavo.t.u-tokyo.ac.jp/ojad/eng/phrasing/index . Not 100% reliable but better than nothing. May 18, 2018 at 6:59
  • @boiko It was giving me contradictory information, so I came here, but thanks! May 18, 2018 at 12:25

1 Answer 1


That number indicates which mora has downstep in pitch right after it.

For example, それは0 やはり2 ねこ1 だ1 から0 goes like this.

・ れ は や は

そ         り ね

・             こ だ

・                 か ら

Likewise, それはやはり、ねこだから does

・ れ は や は   ね

そ         り   こ だ

・                 か ら

And, それは、やはり、ねこ、だから is

・ れ は   は   ね   だ

そ     や   り   こ   か ら

Incidentally, 十五 is じゅうご1, which is じゅうご{HHLL}

  1. いち2 ひとつ2
  2. に1  ふたつ3
  3. さん0 みっつ3
  4. よん1 よっつ3
  5. ご1  いつつ2
  6. ろく2 むっつ3
  7. なな1 しち2 ななつ2
  8. はち2 やっつ3
  9. きゅう1 ここのつ3
  10. じゅう1 とお1
  11. じゅういち・{HHHHL}4
  12. じゅうに3
  13. じゅうさん{HHHHL}3
  14. じゅうよん3 じゅうし{HHLL}1
  15. じゅうご1 (sometimes じゅうご3)
  16. じゅうろく4
  17. じゅうなな3 じゅうしち4
  18. じゅうはち4
  19. じゅうく1 じゅうきゅう{HHHHHL}3
  20. にじゅう{LHHL}2 or にじゅう{HLLL}1

When you count, it goes いち{HL}1 にぃ1 さん1 しぃ1 … じゅう{HHL}1 じゅういち{HHHHL}3, じゅうに{HHHH}03, じゅうさん{HHHHL}3, じゅうし{HHHH}03, じゅうご{HHLL}1, じゅうろく{HHHHL}, じゅうしち{HHHHH}04 or じゅうしち{HHHHL}3, じゅうはち043 , 19 and 20 are as above.

In addition, those over 10 can be pronounced kind of separately as じゅう…いち.

  • This has nothing to do with the question I asked. I asked what the pitch accent pattern is for Japanese numbers such as 十五. May 17, 2018 at 12:39
  • There are no particular rules. Each word has its own pattern.
    – user4092
    May 17, 2018 at 12:50
  • I see you edited your answer. Do you think you could tell me the same thing for all numbers from 一 to 二十? May 17, 2018 at 12:58

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