At 3:03 the speaker says


  • I could be wrong, but it sounds like she's saying this as "koNOHITOWA" rather than "koNOHITOwa".
  • According to my bilingual dictionary, Heiban is not an acceptable pitch accent for この人. Instead it should be either "koNOHITOwa" or "koNOhitowa".

Question: Assuming I'm right above, can Odaka words sometimes become Heiban when the contrastive は is used? E.g. if the speaker wants to say "as for this person (as opposed to these others)...", will the は necessarily rise in pitch?


1 Answer 1


She says このひとは{LHLLH}.

この\ひと is the standard accent for that word/phrase, so there is nothing unusual there.

As for the raised は, you can raise any particle to make it sound emphasized, though I would consider this to be in the realm of intonation as opposed to pitch accent (because it is not lexical).

Such an intonation pattern is not required for a は to be the contrastive は, but it does often cooccur with it.

  • Thanks for the correction :S I listened to it about 100 more times on repeat, and still can't hear it as このひとは{LHLLH}. Instead I keep hearing このひとは{LHHHH}, which is super demoralizing since this is supposed to be a video for children. When you hear pitch accent (in this word or in others), are you focused more on the pitch raises, the pitch drops, or something else? I think what my brain has learned to do is focus only on exaggerated pitch raises right before drops; these might only occur in dictionary settings though and not as much in real life.
    – George
    Commented Apr 4, 2023 at 18:23
  • It would be immensely useful if there were a Chrome plugin which could show live pitch graphs on YouTube videos.
    – George
    Commented Apr 4, 2023 at 18:46
  • 1
    @George - Try saying このひ, このひと, このひとは by adding one mora at a time but keeping the pitch high. The final result will sound different from what you heard on the video.
    – aguijonazo
    Commented Apr 4, 2023 at 23:56

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .