Japanese gemination rules?

Discussion in '日本語 (Japanese)' started by Fumiko Take, Oct 17, 2013.

  1. Fumiko Take

    Fumiko Take Senior Member

    Does anyone know the very clear rules of Japanese gemination? I just found out that it occurs at the end of words ending with -tsu or -ku, and they're followed by k-, s-, t-, ch-, p-. Is there anything else? I'm not mentioning loan words here.
  2. Tonky Senior Member

    Gemination in Japanese is known as Sokuon/促音, and Hatsuon/撥音 might as well be considered one.
    I'd recommend you to search a bit before asking :)
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2013
  3. Fumiko Take

    Fumiko Take Senior Member

  4. Tonky Senior Member

    From the above link. when NOT to geminate.
    Please read it again and tell me what is not sufficient for your question.
  5. Flaminius

    Flaminius coclea mod

    capita Iaponiae
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    Fumi, gemination occurs for the purpose of emphasis or as the result of a phonological constraint.

    Emphatic gemination is easy. You just geminate the onset consonant of the second syllable; hence やたら is やったら emphatically.

    Sharp vowels, i and u are often devoiced and eventually completely lost in intervocalic positions. Because the Japanese phonology does not allow sequences represented by C₁C₂ (where indexed C's are different consonants), the sequence is reduced to CₐCₐ. For verbal conjugations, the result of i- or u-devoicing is very rigorously backward assimilation: C₂C₂

    E.g., kaer.u -> *kaer.ita -> kaetta
    yar.u -> *yar.ita -> yatta
    kat.u (phonetically realised as katsu) -> *kat.ita -> katta

    Needless to say, both occasions for gemination is limited to phonological environments where the constrains listed in Tonky's #4 supra do not apply.
  6. moseisolon New Member

    Hi there,
    Sorry for bothering, but do you have a quotable reference for the above rule?
    I am struggling to find an explanation for Japanese gemination in proper linguistic terms (appart from a "q" phoneme etc.), which I need for a homework assignment.
    Thanks a lot!
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2017
  7. Flaminius

    Flaminius coclea mod

    capita Iaponiae
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    If you are looking for a linguistic account of the Japanese phonology, I think Natsuko Tsujimura's books from Blackwell is the place to start. For a more theoretical understanding, see:
    Haraguchi, Shosuke (2003) The phonology-phonetics interface and syllabic theory. In J.M. van de Weijer, V.J. van Heuven and H.G. van der Hulst (eds.) The Phonological Spectrum. Volume II: Suprasegmental structure, 31-58.

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