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This book provides the only comprehensive description of tone and intonation in Standard Japanese. Treating pitch accent as sparse tone rather than as a kind of accent, it describes the way in which pitch accent is affected by the morphology. It describes the effects of phonological phrasing on pitch accent and how tonal representations are related to actual fundamental frequency contours. Particular attention is devoted to phrasal downtrends in fundamental frequency. It is shown that downtrends in Japanese are attributable to three distinct mechanisms: (a) a local final-lowering plausibly attributed to a final extra-low tone; (b) downstep, whereby the register is lowered in a particular tonal configuration; (c) declination, a small effect not dependent on the tonal configuration. Although Japanese and other languages have often been claimed to have declination, declination has not been distinguished properly from downstep. This is the first study to demonstrate rigorously the existence of declination.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781575862286
ISBN-10: 157586228X
Format: Paperback
Pages: 160
Imprint: Center for the Study of Language and Information
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Publish Date: 14-Oct-2008
Country of Publication: United States

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Hardback, June 2008