JP1000 Introductory Lecture 04


PHONOLOGY: SEGMENTAL

     Vowels                              Consonants


i               u                   p        t		k
                                    b        d          g
                           
  e          o                      f()     s    sh	h
                                             z    j           
                           
        a                                    ts   ch             
                                            (dz) (dj)      

                                    m        n		ŋ        	     	

                                             r        

                                   (w)      (y)


Syllables:

Basic syllable structure:  (Consonant) + Vowel:  (C)V
ka, me, ro, u, bi, ne

Double [or long] vowels: VV

[aa] okaasan, kaaten, sukaato
[ii] chiisai, oniisan, biiru, shiitsu
[uu] kuuki, chuushi, guuzen
[ee] oneesan, teenee, tokee, eega
[oo] otooto, imooto, ookii, oozee

[N.B.] [ee] and [oo] are often written as [ei] and [ou] respectively


Devoiced vowels: C(V)CV k(i)ku, s(u)ki, k(i)sha
C(V) mas(u), des(u), kas(u), okash(i), much(i)

V -----> (V) C ____ C [V = i or u; C = voiceless consonants; syllable not accentuated]

v C ___ [word/sentence final]


Palatalized consonants + Vowel: CyV / ChV [V = a,u,o]
nya, kyu, pyo, shu, cho


Double consonants [geminates] + Vowel: -CCV [C = /Q/]
gakki, hassen, toppi, hattatsu

/Q/ -----> [x]/ ______ [x] (x = p,t,s,sh,k)

hatsu + san -----> hassan
ichi + fun -----> ippun
hachi + kai -----> hakkai


Syllabic nasals: -C(C)V [C = /N/]

/N/ -----> [m] / _____ [p,b,m] shinpai, shinbun, senmon
[n] / _____ [t,d,s,z,sh,ch,n,r] hontoo, anzen, ronri
[ŋ] / _____ [k,g] ginkoo, shingoo
[N = n'] elsewhere man'in, tan'i, hon'ya


Nasalized [g]: optional - recognize this as [g]

[g] -----> [ġ] / V or N _____ V

daiġaku, kuġatsu, konġetsu, shinġoo


Hints & Suggestions

The Japanese [r] is misleading. It is called a flap sound similar to [d] in manner of pronunciation. Use initial [l] as in 'light, lend, long'.

The nasalized [ġ] should not be overemphasized particularly by Cantonese speakers. Use [g] instead.


Norio Ota 2012