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Academic Paper

Title: Moraic reversal and realisation: analysis of a Japanese language game
Author: Daiho Kitaoka
Author: Sara Mackenzie
Linguistic Field: Phonology
Subject Language: Japanese
Abstract: This paper provides a description and an Optimality Theory analysis of the Japanese language game sakasa kotoba. This analysis contributes to the phonological study of language games, as sakasa kotoba constitutes a novel language game type: total mora reversal. In addition, our analysis contributes to the study of Japanese phonology, by providing evidence (i) for the mora, (ii) on the internal structure of the syllable in Japanese and (iii) on the representation of moras occurring in complex syllables, namely coda nasals, geminates and long vowels. The patterning of these moras suggests that the game manipulates intermediate representations, rather than underlying or surface forms. We propose a formal analysis within the framework of Stratal OT. The analysis uses a game-specific constraint to motivate reversal, with other aspects of game form shape determined through the interaction of markedness and faithfulness constraints.


This article appears IN Phonology Vol. 38, Issue 1, which you can READ on Cambridge's site .

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