The Structure of Japanese Phrase in Accordance with Speaking Modes

Toshiyuki Sadanobu


While English is often spoken in an increment of clause (i.e. subject and predicate), Japanese of a smaller phrase called “bunsetsu” (e.g. noun phrase and case particle). Previous studies on Japanese language, however, have traditionally been focusing on clause structure, and little attention has been paid on the structure of “bunsetsu” (non-predicate one, especially). This paper describes the basic structure of non- predicate “bunsetsu” from grammatical point of view, and elucidates that the structure of non-predicate “bunsetsu” varies in accordance with four speaking modes ((i) Sentence mode A; (ii) Sentence mode B; (iii) “Bunsetsu” mode; and (iv) Character mode), which are identified on the criteria of compatibility among seven phenomena attested in Japanese speech. To be more concrete, this paper shows that it is only the mode (iii) that enables copula, “bunsetsu”-final particle (“Kantoujoshi” in Japanese), final leaping, and combination of breaking and prolongation in non-predicate “bunsetsu”).


 DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2014-50

Cite as: Sadanobu, T. (2014) The Structure of Japanese Phrase in Accordance with Speaking Modes. Proc. 7th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2014, 315-319, DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2014-50.


@inproceedings{Sadanobu2014,
  author={Toshiyuki Sadanobu},
  title={{The Structure of Japanese Phrase in Accordance with Speaking Modes}},
  year=2014,
  booktitle={Proc. 7th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2014},
  pages={315--319},
  doi={10.21437/SpeechProsody.2014-50},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/SpeechProsody.2014-50}
}