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Japanese tones,[&john 2’s question thread]

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Japanese tones,[&john 2’s question thread]

Postby john2 » Sat 10.24.2009 5:06 pm

Two things that are driving me crazy… and I really want explained.
okay ah one thing that drives me crazy is why aren't their any good explanation of tones please explain them too me.
I understand what tones are, Just want a good explanation. This would help me quite a bit,
and a complaint
Spoiler:
“Their are not enough vowels in Japanese”,
.
Thanks for the help so-far contributer… 01, furrykef.
Actually, どもありがとうございます。
Last edited by john2 on Sat 10.31.2009 7:09 am, edited 7 times in total.
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Re: Japanese tones,[&john 2’s question thread]

Postby kurisuto » Sat 10.24.2009 6:24 pm

I assume you mean Japanese pitch accent. "Explaining" it would be bit too long ; why don't you start by telling us what exactly is causing you troubles (how it is pronounced, what syllables it falls on, what different patterns there are, how does the accent on a noun differs from the accent on a verb, etc.) ?

Anyways, here's a good start : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_pitch_accent
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Re: Japanese tones,[&john 2’s question thread]

Postby john2 » Sat 10.24.2009 6:52 pm

I know them as tones you don't have to make it too long… A phew simple sentances will do.
I’m serious witht hat remark. I know somethings they destinguish unrelated words[like in chinese]… their not represented in kana… their a part of jappanese pronunciation their variation in pitch that vary over the length of several syllables.
is it up or down? both?… noun verb what is the difference that I don't know…
What they fall on has been explained pretty well by the audio already.
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Re: Japanese tones,[&john 2’s question thread]

Postby kurisuto » Sat 10.24.2009 11:52 pm

As for the difference between nouns and others grammatical categories, I fear I won't be able to help you : I only know how it works on nouns (which I studied in class, but for some reasons my teacher said she won't talk about the other ones, and honestly learning pitch accent is not a priority for now so I'm cool with that. IIRC she said that the pitch accent in verbs and adjectives follow strict rules, so it's a bit less chaotic than nouns). But here's a really quick explanation on nouns :

Pitch accent has two basic functions : a "parsing" one, that is, if you know the patterns you usually can tell where a word starts and where it finishes, and a contrastive one, that is, some homophones are differenciated only by their pitch.

You have two kind of words : inaccentuated ones, which follow the 平板式 pattern (heiban-shiki), and accentuated ones, 起伏式 (kifuku-shiki).

Inaccentuated ones have their first mora (that is, the first kana) low, and all the others high (as well as the following particle) ; accentuated ones actually follow 3 different patterns. Sometimes, inaccentuated words and others that follow one of the 3 accentuated patterns can be differentiated only by the pitch of the particles they precede.

The 2 basic rules to know : 1) if the first mora is low, the second one is high (in this case, it can return to low later in the same word), and if the first one is high, the second one is low (as well as all the other ones) ; 2) once you dropped in pitch (i.e once you passed from high to low), you can never return to high.

So basically, you have the following patterns (don't forget the first rule ; also, here I only use 3 morae words, it's more complicated with 4+) : low-high-high (but : if the following particle is high, then the word is inaccentuated ; if the particle is low, the word is accentuated), low-high-low and high-low-low (both are accentuated patterns).
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Re: Japanese tones,[&john 2’s question thread]

Postby Infidel » Sun 10.25.2009 12:52 am

Japanese for Everyone actually has a pretty nice explaination of pitch, and IIRC, marks all example sentences by pitch, so you can eventually pick it up. Japanese Step-by-Step also marks every word and sentence by tone. Colloquial Japanese has accent marks for sentences and words that are accented.

Everyone likes to pick on the roumaji courses, but one thing the roumaji courses teach that is usually left out of the kana/kanji courses is tone marking.
なるほど。
さっぱりわからん。
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Re: Japanese tones,[&john 2’s question thread]

Postby furrykef » Sun 10.25.2009 2:04 am

Infidel wrote:Japanese for Everyone actually has a pretty nice explaination of pitch, and IIRC, marks all example sentences by pitch, so you can eventually pick it up.


Unfortunately, it doesn't do it for sentences, just vocabulary items, so you can't pick up how grammar affects pitch from it. I've yet to hear of a book that marks pitch accent for sentences except for Japanese: The Spoken Language, which does use romaji.

I use dictionary.goo.ne.jp to look up the pitch accent of words; the number next to the word will tell you which mora is accented. Some words lack these numbers, so in that case I look it up in either the NHK Akusento Jiten or the Pocket Kenkyusha dictionary (both of them are paper dictionaries). Some people ridicule the idea of looking up the accent of every single word you learn, but I actually haven't found it to be all that bothersome, since goo.ne.jp covers almost all the words I learn and it's quick and easy to look up words in it. (I've yet to find a way to look up the pitch of personal or place names, though.)

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Re: Japanese tones,[&john 2’s question thread]

Postby john2 » Sun 10.25.2009 3:46 pm

It’s working so far.– then again I’ve only been using it since well you told me I guess.
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Re: Japanese tones,[&john 2’s question thread]

Postby kurisuto » Sun 10.25.2009 5:21 pm

See, that's why I told you not to forget the first rule : the first two morae have to be different in pitch. So, no, low-low-high (or high-high-low for that matter), isn't possible.
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Re: Japanese tones,[&john 2’s question thread]

Postby john2 » Sun 10.25.2009 6:04 pm

thanks…
Is there a free flash card software for Japanese?
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Re: Japanese tones,[&john 2’s question thread]

Postby furrykef » Sun 10.25.2009 8:19 pm

kurisuto wrote:See, that's why I told you not to forget the first rule : the first two morae have to be different in pitch. So, no, low-low-high (or high-high-low for that matter), isn't possible.


However, the downsteps are really much more important than the upsteps. In fact, Japanese people won't even listen for the upsteps. It's also important to note that the upsteps aren't rigid, and it's more like the pitch rises throughout a word or phrase until it hits a downstep. It's just that the pitch tends to rise a bit more sharply on the second mora than the others (especially if the word is short).

What I do in my flash cards is I underline accented syllables. An "accented" syllable is the last syllable before a downstep. I also try to always have an audio clip for the sentence if possible to make sure that I don't exaggerate the pronunciation; knowing where the accents go and pronouncing them correctly are two separate problems. For this reason I use smart.fm as my primary source for sentences to learn, since their Core 2000 set (and much of the Core 6000 set) has audio examples for every sentence.

john2 wrote:Is their a free flash card software for Japanese?


Not to be harsh, but confusing "their" and "there" tends not to give one high hopes for one's language learning abilities... it's not necessarily that you're unintelligent, but it seems to demonstrate that you don't really care. Not a good attitude to have when it comes to learning a new language.

To actually answer your question, I use Anki, which is a general-purpose flash card program that works for any language -- not to mention any other endeavor in which you might want flash cards, although so far I've only needed it for language learning. I highly recommend it, as I strongly doubt that a better program exists. Just be sure that you use it as intended instead of trying to cheat the system, as you'd only cheat yourself.

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Re: Japanese tones,[&john 2’s question thread]

Postby john2 » Mon 10.26.2009 3:13 pm

Reply to your post at top.
This japanese is really getting my fancy.
Last edited by john2 on Thu 10.29.2009 6:33 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Japanese tones,[&john 2’s question thread]

Postby astaroth » Mon 10.26.2009 3:25 pm

john2 wrote:Reply to your post at top.
This japanese is really getting my fancy.
[Translation from english/johnspeaken too english=
I’m quickly becoming fond of Japanese, because of it’s style.],

I'm sorry I'm really having a hard time understanding what you're saying ... most of the times. Did you mean "too" or "to" in "johnspeaken too english" ...
I'm sorry I'll probably sound too blunt or rude (or both), English is not your native language, is it? Again sorry for being rude it's not my intention.
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Re: Japanese tones,[&john 2’s question thread]

Postby furrykef » Mon 10.26.2009 3:33 pm

astaroth wrote:I'm sorry I'm really having a hard time understanding what you're saying ... most of the times. Did you mean "too" or "to" in "johnspeaken too english" ...


It's definitely supposed to be "to" (translation from X to Y).
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