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About pronunciation over word boundaries?

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About pronunciation over word boundaries?

Postby bzimmerman » Fri 03.01.2013 1:20 am

Hi. I'm new to the forum. This question has been floating around in my head for about a week now, so I thought I'd get it out.

When you're reading a sentence aloud like 日本語を話す, for example, would you lengthen the お sound in 語 to 2 morae due to the を particle, or do you distinguish the particle from its word audibly? Same goes for a word that starts with a vowel following a word that ends in the same vowel.
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Re: About pronunciation over word boundaries?

Postby Ongakuka » Fri 03.01.2013 3:56 am

Welcome to TJP, bzimmermanさん! Nice to make your acquaintance! :wave:

You asked a good question. In the case of your example, 「を」 , which is indeed pronounced 'o' is actually spelt 'wo.' I can't say it is really pronounced like we say 'wo' in English, but particularly in such cases where 「を」 is preceded by an 'o' sound, you may be able to discern a very slight change in inflection moving onto the 「を」。 (A linguistics student will be able to explain a lot better. Or if you can find your example spoken by a native speaker you might see what I mean.)

Sometimes it is pronounced/sounds like an elongated 'o' sound. As long as you recognize in your head that it is にほんごを (As oppose to にほんごー) I don't think it should matter too much.

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Re: About pronunciation over word boundaries?

Postby furrykef » Fri 03.01.2013 6:05 pm

To me it usually sounds like a long "o". And then there are times where you have a long "o" before を, where it sounds like an even longer "o" (but difficult to distinguish from a normal long "o" in rapid speech). But I think subtle cues such as a drop in pitch at the を can help distinguish it.
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