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Sequential Voicing in Japanese

Papers from the NINJAL Rendaku Project

image of Sequential Voicing in Japanese

The papers in this tightly focused collection all report recent research on aspects of rendaku (‘sequential voicing’), the well-known morphophonemic phenomenon in Japanese that affects initial consonants of non-initial elements in complex words (mostly compounds). The papers include broad surveys of theoretical analyses and of psycholinguistic studies, meticulous assessments (some relying on a new database) of many of the factors that putatively inhibit or promote rendaku, an investigation of how learners of Japanese as foreign language deal with rendaku, in-depth examinations of rendaku in a divergent dialect of Japanese and in a Ryukyuan language, and a cross-linguistic exploration of rendaku-like compound markers in unrelated languages. Since rendaku is ubiquitous but recalcitrantly irregular, it provides a challenge for any general theory of morphophonology. This collection should serve both to restrain oversimplified accounts of rendaku and to inspire to further research.

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