Journal of East Asian Linguistics

, Volume 18, Issue 3, pp 179–196

Prosodic size and rendaku immunity


DOI: 10.1007/s10831-009-9044-1

Cite this article as:
Irwin, M. J East Asian Linguist (2009) 18: 179. doi:10.1007/s10831-009-9044-1


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.


RendakuSequential voicingProsodyMoraJapaneseAllomorphyMorphophonology

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Literature and Social SciencesYamagata UniversityYamagata-shiJapan