Third International Conference on Spoken Language Processing (ICSLP 94)

Yokohama, Japan
September 18-22, 1994

Some Remarks on the Compound Accent Rule in Japanese

Shin'ichi Tanaka, Haruo Kubozono

Dept of Japanese, Osaka University of Foreign Studies, Osaka, Japan

The present paper discusses some idiosyncratic patterns behind the compound accent rules in Tokyo Japanese with a view to revealing the various linguistic factors which seem responsible for the regular-irregular contrast. Our discussion centers around the analysis of compound nouns whose righthand element is more than two morae long, end with a long (i.e. bimoraic) syllable and is accented on the penultimate mora when pronounced in isolation. Compounds of this type fall into two classes depending on the accent pattern they yield, those whose accentual pattern can be explained by the traditional compound accent rule and those which show an irregular accent pattern. Detailed analysis of the second type of compounds reveals that their irregular accentual behavior can be predicted largely from their semantic and/or morphological structures. It is suggested that these compound nouns show an accent pattern intermediate between compound accent and phrasal accent.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Tanaka, Shin'ichi / Kubozono, Haruo (1994): "Some remarks on the compound accent rule in Japanese", In ICSLP-1994, 315-318.