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
15k 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 (...
43
votes
5answers
15k 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 ...
24
votes
5answers
12k 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
8k 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 ...
19
votes
2answers
9k 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
609 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

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 ...
13
votes
1answer
2k 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
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 ...
12
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
1k 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
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. ...
10
votes
1answer
591 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
1answer
904 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
4k 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
986 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....
9
votes
1answer
346 views

Understanding how pitch accent changes in words, especially 和語

These words all begin with 花(はな↓), but they all have different pitch accent patterns. 花火 は↓なび (There is also 花火↓師) 花芽 はな↓め 花見 はなみ↓ (also, 花見↓月 vs 花見時 which is 平板) Knowing that the pitch accent of each ...
8
votes
2answers
1k 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
3answers
1k 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
570 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
1k 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
1answer
627 views

Pitch accent of 超自然的

The word 超自然的 seems to have a somewhat mysterious pitch accent. In WaniKani's audio (click the speaker icons) as well as in this random YouTube video it sounds like the accent is ちょうしぜんてき{HHLLHHHH}. ...
7
votes
1answer
232 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
1k 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
238 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
440 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
230 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」...
7
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
527 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
231 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
281 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
1answer
722 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
462 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
218 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
673 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
761 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
359 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
2answers
196 views

How does adding 自体 to a noun affect the accent?

Examples phrases: 料理自体 みそ自体 アメリカ自体 鼻自体 男自体 食べたこと自体 My intuition is that the noun and 自体 are said as two separate words, both of their accents being preserved. (I guess this would make sense ...
5
votes
3answers
509 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
245 views

In what cases do 平板 verbs change their pitch?

I recently realized that 平板 verbs become 尾高 when there is a の after them. For example: 戦うの→たたかうの{LHHHL} 寝るの→ねるの{LHL} That really does happen right? Or am I mishearing? What are other situations where ...
5
votes
1answer
255 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
413 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
724 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
360 views

Pitch accent for ないで and なくて

When I listen to Japanese people speak, I usually hear them say ないで{HLL} and なくて{HLL}, with the pitch drop always placed on な, no matter the verb. But I might just be hearing things wrong. However, I ...
4
votes
1answer
266 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
260 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
405 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
166 views

difference between 介護士 and 看護師

I learnt both of these words as an equivalent to "nurse". What is the difference in meaning between those two ? Also what is the pitch accent for 介護士 ?
4
votes
2answers
854 views

Difference between んい and に

I noticed that the word 単位 is written as たんい in hiragana, not たに. Is there a difference in the way んい and に are pronounced? If so, does the same principle go for んあ and な, んえ and ね, etc.?
4
votes
2answers
266 views

pitch accent for suffixes

I am trying to learn about pitch accent, and I have heard that there are rules for suffixes regarding pitch accent. Are there any resources where I could learn about those rules ? I am not yet able ...