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Accents?

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Accents?

Postby Kisshu » Sat 09.15.2007 6:43 pm

How come everybody always says that there are no accents on syllables in the Japanese language? I hear them all the time? Am I misinterperaing what everyone is say? O_o

Sorry, its been bugging me for quite some time...
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RE: Accents?

Postby saraLynne » Sat 09.15.2007 7:42 pm

Japanese has a pitch accent, English uses stress accent.

Sometimes, it can sound remarkably similar.

English stressed syllables have a longer sound than unstressed syllables. The stronger the stress, the longer the syllable. It should be noted that for the most part, people aren't consciously aware of this phenomenon.

When there is an elongated vowel in Japanese, I think it sounds a lot like an English stress, but it really isn't.

Also, intonation used for emphasis has nothing to do with accent, being entirely emotion-driven. Forceful words and/or imperative speech very often sounds to me like it is full of stress accents, but again, I think it's just my mind trying to justify it in English (something I try very hard to get over).
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RE: Accents?

Postby Kisshu » Sat 09.15.2007 7:59 pm

Hah... thanks for explaining. I never knew the difference between stress and pitch before you said that.. it makes more sense now
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RE: Accents?

Postby jpophime » Sat 09.15.2007 10:12 pm

umm am i doing this right :(
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RE: Accents?

Postby tanuki » Sat 09.15.2007 10:17 pm

jpophime wrote:
umm am i doing this right :(


No.
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RE: Accents?

Postby Harisenbon » Sat 09.15.2007 10:41 pm

Pitch was actually one of the things that I've had the most difficulty with because it was played down so much when I was first studying Japanese. I'm actually in the process of going back and relearning all my pitches to try and fix the way I talk.

The english word that I found that best sums up the pitch differences between Japanese words are the words:

Contract (Something you sign)
and
Contract (When you get a disease).

Looking at those two words, you can get a pretty good idea of how your voice should be changing when you say things like 橋 versus 箸 and how you should correctly pronounce other words, as most foreigners seem to put the pitch accent on the beginning of a word, where in Japanese the pitch accent is mainly on the second syllable.

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