Rendaku in Tōhoku Japanese
Rendaku in many Tōhoku dialects is manifested in the form of prenasalized voicing, and this paper provides a case study of rendaku in the dialect of Kahoku-chō, Yamagata Prefecture. After describing prenasalized voicing and its relationship to rendaku, the paper reports the results of a study conducted in 2012 on speakers of the Kahoku dialect. Prenasalization did not occur at all uniformly in the productions of the survey participants; there was considerable variation, both between speakers and between target words. Also, while sex and socio-economic group were not predictors, age was, with the oldest participant having the highest prenasalization rate. Given the complex social and historical situation regarding dialect use in Japan, the Kahoku dialect has undoubtedly been altered lexically, morphologically, and phonologically.