Volume 3, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2215-1354
  • E-ISSN: 2215-1362
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This paper explores the flattening of Japanese sentential pitch as a possible nationwide change in progress among younger generations. Comparative data collected by identical protocols are examined in terms of speakers’ age, gender, and native dialects (in the city of Sapporo and in a rural town in Hokkaido, and in the city of Kagoshima in Kyushu). The paper also stresses the significance of including different registers in prosodic analysis and addressing potential problems with standard practices in which read-aloud materials comprise the primary resource. Based on naturalistic speech production data (i.e., spontaneous speech from a picture story description), our results reveal that: (1) regardless of the accentual discrepancies in their native dialects, younger generations characteristically speak in phonetically flattened realizations of pitch accompanying consistent, steeper declination, and (2) an age-linked differentiation also exists in prosodic phrasing, which is closely linked to the flattening of sentential pitch.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): age-related variation; Japanese; prosody; register; sociophonetics; style
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