Japanese final-accented and unaccented phrases

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10 Scopus citations


The most common theory of Japanese pitch accent predicts that words with final-accent and those with no accent have the same f0 contour within the word, and diverge only in the mora following the word. Pierrehumbert & Beckman's (1988) theory, however, predicts a difference even within the word for the two types. Previous instrumental studies of final-accented and unaccented words, the results of which have not been conclusive, used only one- or two-mora words, which introduce a confound for Pierrehumbert & Beckman's theory. In this experiment, longer words are used, and reiterant speech is used to lower variance. All four speakers produced the words with a difference between the two accent types in the direction predicted by Pierrehumbert & Beckman's theory, and this difference is statistically highly significant. However, the speakers produced an additional difference between the two types which is not predicted by either theory. The results have implications for other theories of Japanese pitch accent. The experiment also tests, and confirms, the validity of reiterant speech as a method.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-60
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Phonetics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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