With respect to pitch accent, the negative form of いる{LH} is いない{LHH}, while the negative form of ある{HL} is ない{HL}. But what is the pitch of their shortened versions when used in てる / てない constructions? More specifically:

  1. What is the pitch of "る" and "ない" when they are used as shortened versions of いる, ある, いない, and ない, respectively (in a てる/てない construction)?

  2. Does the pitch of ”る” and "ない" in てる/てない change depending upon whether it is shortening いる{LH} or ある{HL}? Or is it the same pitches in either case?

  • In a similar vein to your other question, it depends on whether the word is Heiban or not. る cannot be felt independent and it never changes the pitch. ない/いない may come with slight pitch change, esp. the latter is felt more independent.
    – sundowner
    Sep 21, 2022 at 3:34

1 Answer 1


This is how I pronounce:

  • みている【HLLL】 / ねている【LHHH】
  • みてる【HLL】/ ねてる【LHH】
  • みていない【HLLHH】/ ねていない【LHHHH】 (Also: みていない【HLLHL】 / ねていない【LHHHL】)
  • みてない【HLHL】 / ねてない【LHHL】

So ている/てる works like a continuation of the verb, but ない works like an independent word with its own pitch accent.


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