It seems to be a pattern for i-adjectives (in their "dictionary-form") to have low intonation on the first and last morae and high intonation in between, at least if they are three morae or more in length. Since forms like 帰らない and 帰りたい seem to convert verbs into i-adjectives, does the pitch accent follow? Going with the 帰る-example, is






There are various resources for finding the pitch accent of dictionary-form words, but it seems there aren't many for finding the pitch accent of inflected forms. The best I've been able to find is OJAD, the Online Japanese Accent Dictionary. Despite the English name, the site is put together by a Japanese organization, and the UI appears to be available in multiple languages.

Looking at their entry for 帰る, we see that the plain form pitch accent is かえる【HLL】. Meanwhile, the negative ~ない form pitch accent is かえらない【LHHLL】, as broccoli forest indicated in a comment. Following from that, the pitch accent for the past-tense ~なかった form is かえらなかった【LHHLLLL】.

Meanwhile, we see that the pitch accent for almost-homophonous 変える is different: plain かえる【LHH】, negative かえない【LHHH】, negative past かえなかった【LHHLLL】.

The OJAD dataset doesn't seem to include ~たい forms. My subjective impression is that these are similar to the ~ない forms, but I will certainly welcome any input from a native speaker. Darius Jahandarie points out that the ~たい form pitch accent for 帰る is かえりたい【LHHHL】, diverging from the negative.

  • 1
    It’s かえりたい{LHHHL}, so I wouldn’t say that’s similar to the ない form. – Darius Jahandarie Apr 23 at 16:19
  • @DariusJahandarie, thank you! I'll update. Are you perchance aware of any online pitch-accent resource that includes the ~たい forms of verbs? – Eiríkr Útlendi Apr 23 at 16:24
  • @DariusJahandarie, also, is this regular? I.e. would it also be かえたい【LHHL】 for 変える? – Eiríkr Útlendi Apr 23 at 16:26
  • Yeah, it’s かえたい{LHHL}. Unfortunately don’t know of any resource. – Darius Jahandarie Apr 23 at 16:33
  • 1
    You can also try inputting these cases into Suzuki-kun, the algorithmic pitch accent system which is part of the OJAD project. gavo.t.u-tokyo.ac.jp/ojad/phrasing/index – jogloran May 25 at 18:46

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.