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"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more



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Academic Paper


Title: A typological study of tonal systems of Japanese and Prinmi: Towards a definition of pitch-accent languages
Paper URL: http://www.unish.org/unish/DOWN/PDF/7-2-01-JapaneseandPrinmi.pdf
Author: Picus Sizhi Ding
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://web.hku.hk/~picus
Institution: University of Hong Kong
Linguistic Field: Phonology; Typology
Subject Language: Japanese
Abstract: Based on the principle of suprasegmental organization in Japanese and Prinmi (a Tibeto-Burman language of China), this paper defines a ‘pitch-accent system’ as one that generates tonal patterns through different placement of a marked tone on a syllable/mora in an underlying domain, which is independent of both the syllable and the word.

Under this definition, the pitch-accent systems of six Japanese dialects can be analyzed uniformly. The diversity of the pitch-accent systems between these Japanese dialects and Prinmi is mainly reflected in: (1) whether or not the marked tone spreads; (2) the direction of spreading and restriction on the scope of spreading; and (3) which edge of the underlying domain is relevant in locating the marked tone.
Type: Individual Paper
Status: Completed
Publication Info: Journal of Universal Language 7.2: 1-35
URL: http://www.unish.org/unish/DOWN/PDF/7-2-01-JapaneseandPrinmi.pdf


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