Rendaku awareness of Japanese learners in Taiwan

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As rendaku is not entirely predictable, it is particularly difficult for second language learners of Japanese to master. To date, however, little research has been done to examine this problem. This study investigates the potential pedagogical value of Lyman’s Law, the observation that the second element in a two-element compound will not undergo rendaku if it contains a voiced obstruent. University learners of Japanese in Taiwan were tested on the occurrence of rendaku in two-element compounds. They also answered questions about their knowledge of rendaku and Lyman’s Law. The results showed that most students knew about but overused rendaku and that they were unfamiliar with Lyman’s Law. Thus, explicit instruction on Lyman’s Law may be beneficial in curbing the overuse of rendaku.


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