I am using the anki N5 and N4 vocabulary decks based on the 日本語総まとめ books (edition is ask). As far as I know 学校 is always heiban but in that example:
in the audio to me it sounds like they prounounce it as
Am I hearing it wrong, or is there a rule, either specific to the word 学校 or one that applies to a category of words that includes it that makes the word's pitch accent change from heiban to atamadaka?

1 Answer 1


You are both hearing and reading it wrong.

It is not 日本語{にほんご}学校{がっこう}, it is 日本語{にほんご}学校{がっこう}.

The latter is a compound noun, which causes it to get a compound accent, にほんごが\っこう. This is how most (but not all) noun compounds behave.

If it was 日本語の学校 it would be just be the juxtaposition of the underlying accents, にほんごの ̄・がっこう ̄

  • aah yea i don't know how i've made that mistake bc i clearly hear that there is no "の" haha! i guess i wasn't paying attention. thanks for the explanation tho!
    – joy
    Commented Aug 28, 2022 at 20:32

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