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LING/JAPN 563 Structure of Japanese

Fall 2011

Pitch accent in Japanese

I. Pitch accent basics (1) (2) Pitch accent (as realized in most dialects of Japanese): A fall from high pitch to low pitch within a word or phrase Examples (sound files on Sakai, in Resources > Files for assignments > HW #3 sound files): (a) [ mursaki ] purple abrupt pitch fall L H L L shape (b) [ momoiro ] pink [ ka ] no abrupt pitch fall L H H H shape (c) red abrupt pitch fall H L shape (3) Pitch accent patterns vary widely across dialects of Japanese Phonological analysis involves distinguishing between predictable/systematic and unpredictable/idiosyncratic information (a) (b) (c) Systematic information Idiosyncratic information > > assigned by the phonological grammar stored in the lexical entry for the morpheme

To analyze the pitch accent system of a given dialect, we need to pay attention to which aspects are systematic and which aspects are idiosyncratic

II. Pitch accent in the Tky dialect (4) One-mora nouns in isolation and with a nominative (subject) marker H e 'handle' L H e - ga 'handle-NOM' (5) H e 'picture' H L e - ga 'picture-NOM'

Longer nouns, with/without nominative marker L H H (ga) 'edge' L H H H sa.ku.ra (ga) 'cherry tree' L H HH H (ga) 'hair style' HL L (ga) 'chopstick' H L L L (ga) 'crow' H LLL L (ga) 'mantis' LH L (ga) 'bridge' L H L L (ga) 'heart' L HLL L (ga) 'morning-glory'

LH H L (ga) 'man' LHHL L a.o.zo.ra. (ga) 'blue sky' L H HH L (ga) 'thunder'


Analyzing the pitch pattern in the Tokyo dialect (a) Idiosyncratic: If there is an accent, and if so, where the accent is located (b) Systematic: All H and L tones, if we know the accent location Consequences for how to set up the analysis (a) Accentedness and accent location are specified in lexical entries (b) H and L tones are assigned to moras by a rule system Rules for tonal assignment in the Tky dialect (one possible version) 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. If the phrase is accented, assign H to the accented mora and L to the following mora (if any) If the phrase is unaccented, assign H to the final mora Assign L to the initial mora, if it is toneless Spread H leftward to any toneless moras Spread post-accent L rightward to any toneless moras



III. Pitch accent in the Miyakonoj dialect (9) What aspects of the pitch contour in this dialect are idiosyncratic vs. systematic? (a) LH hana 'flower' or 'nose' L L H LL L LL H hana-ga 'flower-NOM' or 'nose-NOM' H L LH L L L H


[ Kyooto-se ] [ itta?ku?-dZi ] [ genki-de ] [ o?kuiyai-na ] (Careful speech) Kyoto-to will.go-as take care POLITE 'As I will go to Kyoto, take care of yourself well.' (gloss from Haraguchi 1977) (10) Analyzing the pitch pattern (a) (b) (11) Idiosyncratic: Nothing (related to pitch) Systematic: The pitch contour of every phrase

Consquences for how to set up the analysis (a) (b) Nothing (about pitch) needs to be stated in lexical entries All aspects of the pitch contour can be handled by rules


Rules for tonal assignment in the Miyakonoj dialect 1. 2. 3. Assign H to the last syllable* of the phrase Assign L to the first syllable of the phrase Spread L rightward to any toneless syllables
* The tone-bearing unit in Miyakonoj is the syllable rather than the mora. We cant see that directly in the examples given here, though.