Can somebody give me the right pitch accent for the following verbal forms? As they are verbs, they should all be either accentless or accented on the penultimate syllable (although I am not sure how it works with the forms that end in -えいる, perhaps antepenultimate, i.e. on the え???)

  1. 書ける (can write, i.e. potential)
  2. 書かれる (is written, i.e. passive)
  3. 書かせる (cause to write, i.e. causative)
  4. 書いている (is writing, i.e. continuous)
  5. 買える (can buy, i.e. potential)
  6. 買われる (is bought, i.e. passive)
  7. 買わせる (cause to buy, i.e. causative)
  8. 買っている (is buying, i.e. continuous)
  9. 食べられる (can eat, i.e. potential)
  10. 食べられる (is eaten, i.e. passive)
  11. 食べさせる (cause to eat, i.e. causative)
  12. 食べている (is eating, i.e. continuous)
  13. 浴びられる (can bathe, i.e. potential)
  14. 浴びられる (is bathed, i.e. passive)
  15. 浴びさせる (cause to bathe, i.e. causative)
  16. 浴びている (is bathing, i.e. continuous)

Sorry for the long list, but I am trying to "crack the code" for the different types of verbs (accented type I, accentless type I, accented type II, accentless type II), for each of the forms I am not sure of…



  • Does something like Suzuki-kun not give acceptable results for this kind of thing? gavo.t.u-tokyo.ac.jp/ojad/phrasing/index
    – Leebo
    Jul 17, 2018 at 9:44
  • @Leebo I tried it and found that it fails to distinguish the accentless from the final mora accented or the second downstep in one compound word, though you can add some particles to the former to reveal it and the latter is not practically important.
    – user4092
    Jul 17, 2018 at 17:35
  • Thank you: that was really helpful… I used the tool and discovered the rule, which I will post as my answer...
    – Pregunto
    Jul 18, 2018 at 9:27

1 Answer 1


I found the answer thanks to the recommendations given to be in the comments: -the -ている forms (continuous) follow the logic of the -て particle: they are accentless if the -て particle is accentless, and retain the same pitch accent as the -て particle in case the latter is accented; hence 食べている: べている (following 食べて: べて) vs. accentless 買っている (accentless 買って). -the other forms mirror their original pattern as well (but in a different way for the accented verbs): if they were accentless, they remain so; if they were accented, the accent of the composite forms (other than -ている) falls on the penultimate syllable, e.g. 食べらる.

  • and passive causatives also follow the same logic: accentless if the original is accentless; accented on the penultimate if the original verb had pitch accent (both for -させられる and -さされる).
    – Pregunto
    Jul 18, 2018 at 9:44
  • 1
    買っている is not accentless but has one at the final mora. (Accurately or in theory, たべている has another downstep after る too). In short, いる2
    – user4092
    Jul 18, 2018 at 12:11

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