1 Context

不幸 is listed in most (Japanese to English) dictionaries as Nakadaka with a stress on こ. The version of NHK I have also lists an acceptable pitch for it as Atamadaka (but NHK doesn't explain which pitch is appropriate in which contexts).

I've discovered that OJAD thinks that when の is attached to this word, the Atamadaka pitch is the correct one to use:

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To make matters complicated, Dogen has stated that words which have an accent on their final syllable (not mora, syllable) can sometimes get "de-accented" when の is placed in front of them.

2 Pitch Possibilities

So it seems that 不幸の could be any of the following:

  1. 不幸の: ふこうの{LHLL} Dictionary pitch with の appended.
  2. 不幸の: ふこうの{HLLL} What OJAD thinks; NHK suggests but doesn't confirm this might be OK.
  3. 不幸の: ふこうの{LHHH} De-accenting the last syllable since の is appended.

Here's the clip that prompted this question: https://youtu.be/XJfWD5wE_eo I'm still a Japanese newbie, but it sounds like (1) (or maybe (2)?) is what is being used here.

Which one to use? Are all of these acceptable?

1 Answer 1


It’s [ふこう]{LHL}, whether it’s followed by の or not. I have never heard anyone pronounce it as [ふこう]{HLL} or [ふこう]{LHH} unless it’s part of compound nouns like 不幸中 ([ふこうちゅう]{LHHHHH}) in the fixed phrase 不幸中の幸い.

  • ええっ 私は「[ふこう]{HLL}」「[ふこうな]{HLLL}」なんですけど・・ (関西弁だからでしょうか。「ふ」の母音を無声化しないとか)
    – chocolate
    Commented Sep 30, 2022 at 15:33
  • @Chocolate - 私は関西弁の時は[ふこう]{HHL}ですかね。[ふこう]{HLL}と聞くと、京阪アクセントの周辺、例えば徳島とか高知の人かなと思います。徳島とか高知での実際のアクセントは知りませんが。
    – aguijonazo
    Commented Sep 30, 2022 at 16:13
  • 1
    そういえば徳島では「ほんに、ふこう【HLL】やったなぁ」みたいな感じだったかも… 標準語では常に ふこう【LHL】でいいと思います。
    – naruto
    Commented Oct 1, 2022 at 0:09

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