Questions tagged [pitch-accent]

高低アクセント. Changes in pitch associated with a particular word. Does not include changes in pitch due to intonation.

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46
votes
7answers
13k views

How important is one's pitch when speaking Japanese?

I'm aware of some words in Japanese that have the same reading but different meaning depending on the pitch of each syllable. The canonical example is はし (hashi), which can mean either chopsticks (...
41
votes
5answers
13k views

If Kanji are necessary to disambiguate homophones, how come it's still used, being that Japanese people seem to know the difference when speaking?

I'm a beginner. People argue for Kanji being that it helps disambiguate homophones in written Japanese, but in spoken Japanese, kanji (or any other visual aid) are not available, yet people seem to ...
26
votes
5answers
11k views

How does pitch accent work in Japanese?

My studies taught me there's two ways to say each mora in Japanese, with the way you normally talk and when you put a bit more emphasis on a mora, i.e. when someone says なつかしい, the word would be ...
21
votes
4answers
7k views

Pronunciation of す in です and the end of ます verbs

I've always been curious about the pronunciation of the す in です and at the end of 〜ます verbs. Most commonly the "u" sound is inaudible, but sometimes by some people it's more pronounced, and some ...
20
votes
2answers
8k views

How to pronounce the English alphabet? (A, B, C, …)

I just had to tell a long booking number over the phone, and realized that some characters like V/B can be hard to convey. So, I want to learn exactly how each letter is currently taught in Japanese ...
14
votes
2answers
563 views

Why is debug デバッグ but bug is バグ?

I'm interested in why the extra small tsu in included in the word デバッグ but not バグ. Are there any rules governing voicing in words formed via reduplication? Lyman's rule may explain this, but does ...
13
votes
1answer
1k views

How do you pronounce みずうみ? (lake)

I was wondering, I learnt an う lengthens the sound before it. When I learnt the word みずうみ I thought it is a long u and saw it as a whole new word, but I noticed みずうみ exists of 2 words: みず (water) and ...
13
votes
1answer
1k views

Sentence level pitch accent for 標準語

I was wondering if anybody had any references (preferably freely available) or insights that explain 標準語 (or should I say 関東語) sentence-level pitch accent. I already have a dictionary which describes ...
13
votes
1answer
1k views

What are the pitch-accent rules for compound nouns?

I've been trying to learn the pitch-accent of standard Japanese, but this is more difficult as it should be as it's hard to find good learning resources that provide proper descriptions of how the ...
12
votes
1answer
878 views

Accent changes in conjugation

I find that Japanese pitch accent seems to have some sort of interaction with the morphology. For example, 早い is pronounced [はやい]{LHL}, but 早く is pronounced [はやく]{HLL}. Are these changes regular? No ...
11
votes
2answers
3k views

Beginner miscomprehension of spoken Japanese - finding wrong word boundaries

As a beginner of Japanese, I very often I don't understand or completely misunderstand spoken Japanese - even if I know every word in the sentence, and may have recognized it in different context. ...
11
votes
3answers
788 views

What are some examples of three-mora atamadaka verbs besides 帰る?

I couldn't find a good way to research this on my own, I'm afraid. I'm not looking for a comprehensive list by any means (in before it turns out 帰る is the only one...), but rather just a few examples ...
10
votes
1answer
497 views

What is the difference in pronunciation between [桃]{もも} and [腿]{もも}?

I am currently studying 日本語 and I am trying to understand the pronunciation difference between 桃 (peach) and 腿 (thigh). Both can be written as もも in kana and sound practically the same to me when my ...
10
votes
2answers
3k views

Is it true that the べつに when used to mean “nothing particularly” is pronounced differently from when it is used to mean “separately / apart”?

Is it true that the べつに when used to mean "nothing particularly" is pronounced differently from when it is used to mean "separately / apart" ? Like am I right to say that these 3 examples belong to ...
10
votes
1answer
833 views

Is accent position predictable for -i verbs in Osaka/Kansai?

Background While I'm not especially confident about the reliability of my sources (Wikipedia (0) (1) (2) and some guys' personal websites), and it's possible that I transcribed some of these wrong, ...
9
votes
2answers
593 views

How does the intonation of ありがとう vary between dialects?

I recall in my speaking/listening class last semester in Japan, when we were discussing proper intonation in the standard dialect, that the intonation of ありがとう varied rather widely between dialects (i....
8
votes
2answers
725 views

Multiple Pitch Accents

I tried using an anki plugin (https://ankiweb.net/shared/info/932119536) to display the pitch accent of words I'm learning. Some of the words I tried entering showed multiple possibilities for the ...
8
votes
1answer
162 views

Pitch Accent Patterns with Pluralized たち Nouns

Curious if there are any general rules for the pitch accent for pluralized たち nouns. For example: 子供達 - the pattern seems to be こどもたち{LHHLL} 私たち - the pattern seems to be わたしたち{LHHLL} 自分たち - the ...
8
votes
1answer
443 views

The genesis of pitch accent in Japanese

There is a significant amount of research relating to tonogenesis -- the mechanisms by which a toneless parent language develops tone. But what about the genesis of pitch accent? For instance, the ...
8
votes
1answer
226 views

Do the various verbs pronounced つく differ in intonation?

Related: Dissecting つく verbs There are many verbs which are pronounced つく, and I was simply wondering: Do their intonation patterns differ? If so, what are the intonation patterns of the most common ...
8
votes
3answers
690 views

Is there any difference when pronouncing 橋 and 箸?

I once heard from my friend that the two words: 橋 and 箸 have different stress (stress falling on the first/second syllable). Is that true?
8
votes
2answers
490 views

Pitch Accent for ~ない and ~たい

It seems to be a pattern for i-adjectives (in their "dictionary-form") to have low intonation on the first and last morae and high intonation in between, at least if they are three morae or more in ...
8
votes
1answer
473 views

Location of pitch-accent on conjugated auxiliary verbs

I've been using online tools to learn the pitch-accent rules that affect verb and adjective conjugation, and memorising the rules that govern how conjugation affects the location of the accent in ...
7
votes
3answers
939 views

[父]{ちち} vs. [乳]{ちち} — father vs. breast

Can one differentiate by pronunciation between [父]{ちち} and [乳]{ちち} (as for 雨 and 飴)? If not, does anyone have a reasonable explanation for why 父 and 乳 have the same pronunciation? It seems unlikely ...
7
votes
2answers
924 views

Why do English sources for learning Japanese leave out pitch?

I always thought that besides Kanji, one of the most difficult things about Japanese was its immense amount of homophones. For example, 花 (はな), which means flower, and 鼻 (also はな) which means nose. In ...
7
votes
1answer
325 views

Are there any rules to the intonations they are discussing in this video?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TpbOoSbnp5k I rarely if ever see anything like this covered in Japanese textbooks or courses besides the hashi (bridge) vs hashi (chopstick) discussion. Is there no ...
7
votes
1answer
254 views

Pitch accent of nominalizers

Do the nominalizers "no" and "koto" have recessive accent (i.e. no downstep) or downstep after the first syllable? Or are they enclitic (i.e. unaccented unless following a word with no downstep in ...
7
votes
1answer
187 views

Pitch accent variations within giongo words like ふわふわ

According to the NHK Accent dictionary, the pitch accent for ふわふわ can be: (a) ふわふわ {HLLL} or (b) ふわふわ {LHHH} It is (a) when する is attached and it is (b) when used as a simple adjective. First, ...
7
votes
2answers
405 views

What is the correct pitch accent for ううん?

For ううん to express negation, Weblio gives the pitch accent as 【2】, i.e. ううん 【LHL】 However, (to me) this doesn't sound like how people actually pronounce the word. I've always thought that it ...
6
votes
1answer
208 views

Pronunciation Troubles with トラブル and トラブる: Loanwords with both noun and verb ending in ru mora

Following this comment: What is the difference in pronunciation or pitch accent between: トラブル and トラブる ダブル and ダブる What are the regional differences (if any)? Is the pronunciation rule ...
6
votes
1answer
213 views

Rise in pitch right before quotative って?

On the last mora of reported speech, right before って, I sometimes hear a high pitch (or maybe stress) where I would normally not expect one. If there is a ない in front of the って, for example, I often ...
6
votes
1answer
179 views

'mo' and 'demo' pronunciation research

I am looking for a native speaker who could answer the following question: Is there any difference in pronunciation of the morpheme 'mo' in the following words (are there any differences in tone)? ...
6
votes
1answer
167 views

アクセントに関する質問:「韓国」vs「韓国人・韓国語」

「韓国」はアクセントが頭に来ます。 「韓国人・韓国語」など、国の名称の後もう一文字が付く場合は全体的にフラットなアクセントになります。 それ以外にも例はありますが、そうなる理由がよく分かりません。 みんなそうやってるから私も従っていますが、説明しろと言われたら出来ません。 何か法則があるのでしょうか? ではなく単純に発音しやすいからでしょうか? *最初は「英国」「米国」...
6
votes
1answer
462 views

When does pitch accent reset?

My understanding of phrase-level Japanese pitch accent is that each "unit" initially has low pitch, followed by high pitch (LH), then a drop after the accented syllable, if there is one. As such, ...
6
votes
1answer
686 views

Pronunciation of ううん

The pitch contour of the interjection ううん has been described as high, low, middle. Alternatively, it has been described as a falling-rising tone. In either case, this appears to be unique in ...
6
votes
1answer
545 views

The origins and mechanics of pitch accent in SJ compounds

For the past few months I've been researching pitch accent in Japanese off and on, concentrating on trying to identify regularities in a phenomenon which is nearly completely arbitrary. I've not seen ...
5
votes
1answer
287 views

Pronunciation of Ōsaka / 大阪 / おおさか / オオサカ

Is the difference in pronunciations of Ōsaka in Google Translate different for the same reasons as "Sayaka" ? I acknowledge this may be a dupe.
5
votes
1answer
164 views

Pitch accent pattern for verb stem + な

I've only ever heard this form be used in the command "待ちな!" (Wait!), but just out of curiosity, I'd like to know what pitch accent rule(s) apply here. I thought I'd heard the above-mentioned phrase ...
5
votes
3answers
476 views

How do I find the right meaning of homonyms 同音異義語 via audio?

Japanese has a lot of homonyms and sometimes one has more than 10 meanings. When I heard the following sentences on the phone or a radio. How do I deal with it? はしのはしですか? きのう、かきをたべたけどあまりおいしくなかった ...
5
votes
1answer
255 views

Questions regarding the pitch accent of 僕

First: When you call a young boy ぼく, is it LH or HL? Second: When do boys saying 僕 move from LH to HL? Third: When voice actors voice young characters, do they use HL or LH?
5
votes
1answer
340 views

Pitch accent of まんまと

I recently looked up the word まんまと in 大辞林. The pitch accent is marked 13. I don't understand what that means, so I decided to look it up in the explanatory notes, which I'll attempt to summarize ...
5
votes
1answer
301 views

Pitch accent of months?

I'm having some trouble identifying a pattern/rule in the pitch accent for months. For example, the 4-mora, 2-kanji 三月 is HLLL (頭高) while 六月、七月、八月、十月 are LHHH (平板/尾高). (As is usually the case.) For ...
5
votes
3answers
957 views

Japanese pitch accent in songs

Do Japanese (pop) songs usually preserve pitch accent (so that the words have to be chosen in accordance with the melody, just the words in English songs have to match the meter) or does it get ...
4
votes
1answer
157 views

Difference between おじいさん and おじさん

I'm wondering if there is much difference in the pronunciation of the words or intonation of them. Is it just the long vowel?
4
votes
1answer
340 views

Omitting half of a letter in Japanese

Specifically when transcribing foreign words into katakana, it is often implied that half of a letter is dropped in pronunciation. Take for example メルボルン, the Japanese import of the Australian city ...
4
votes
1answer
106 views

Does the honorific prefix お/ご have an effect on pitch accent?

Does the honorific prefix お/ご have an effect on pitch accent? For example, can it make an unaccented word accented or an accented word unaccented? If this prefix does have an effect on pitch accent, ...
4
votes
1answer
105 views

Different pitch accent patterns of もっとも?

The word もっとも has a few different uses. For example, jisho.org lists the following: 最も(もっとも) Adverb most; extremely Other forms 最も ​【もとも​】、尤も ​【もっとも&#...
4
votes
1answer
670 views

Pitch accent for numbers?

I haven't been able to find a good source online, so I'm asking you guys. What is the pitch-accent rule for numbers? Is 十五 (じゅうご) a 0 or a 1 or a 3 or what? Is there a general pattern? I realize that ...
3
votes
2answers
110 views

Pitch accent websites differing for certain words

For the word 九日 (ここのか{LHHH}), both OJAD and weblio agree on the pitch accent of the word itself, but for the particle that comes afterwords (say 九日の), they differ by this: OJAD: ここのかの{LHHHH} ...
3
votes
1answer
211 views

What's the pitch accent of すなわち?

As in title, what's the pattern of the pitch accent in the word すなわち, in the Tokyo (standard) pronunciation?