Journal of East Asian Linguistics

, Volume 18, Issue 3, pp 179-196

First online:

Prosodic size and rendaku immunity

  • Mark IrwinAffiliated withFaculty of Literature and Social Sciences, Yamagata University Email author 

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Research has shown there to be a strong relationship between the mora and prosody in Modern Japanese. Recently proposed, although not as yet independently evaluated, has been a prosodic size rule governing the well-known allomorphic phenomenon of rendaku, by which the initial consonants of non-initial elements in compounds may be voiced under certain conditions. It is claimed that this prosodic size rule flags a native Japanese noun as being rendaku immune, a condition for which no empirical verification has hitherto existed. In this paper the author will demonstrate that, although slight modifications are necessary, a prosodic size rule for flagging rendaku immunity is indeed a reality.


Rendaku Sequential voicing Prosody Mora Japanese Allomorphy Morphophonology