I feel like this intonation pattern is common, so I figured I better get it figured out.

I believe this is related Pitch accent in combination with the を particle, which is about when accents get blurred, like this I believe https://vocaroo.com/1owm8mvuT0AX 「じゃあ、左のコインをとって

But in https://vocaroo.com/13Fy2BfTB7dw, when he says 毎回 (which is unaccented), it sounds like a different intonation pattern. It should be 「まいかい{LHHH}」 in terms of pitch accent. I sense it sounds like 「まいかい{LHH}」, where the last い carries some intonation.

Or could it just be confusion with the vowel in that last mora being lengthened? Or just loudness going down and I'm confusing it?

  • Since this is not limited to 毎回 could you edit in a more general title for the question? May 29, 2022 at 18:30

1 Answer 1


Yes, this is a common type of intonation, which you could notate as [まいかいぃ]{HHHHL} if you wanted.

Basically there is a downward tone within the last mora, い, (which is definitely not pitch accent because pitch accents are at the mora-level, not sub-mora level), and it is a type of intonation used in casual speech to indicate that something is following the clause but the speaker is thinking about it or otherwise putting in a pause or stretching the word for some reason. It's very closely related with 語尾上げ and often co-occurs with it (because you need to raise a bit to do the downward tone in the last mora).

  • I hear this kind of intonation on particles when people are pausing mid-sentence a lot. Is there a term for this? Is there scholarly writing about it? Oct 25, 2022 at 1:55
  • 1
    I’m not aware of a term other than 語尾上げ, and yes, you can find many papers with that keyword. Oct 25, 2022 at 2:28

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