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iu or yuu

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iu or yuu

Postby Cyborg Ninja » Sat 12.04.2010 12:26 am

I read in a book recently that "iu" is always pronounced "yuu," and only written as "iu." Is this true? Please forgive me for using romaji -- this is someone else's computer. Also, while I was watching a Japanese drama, I swear I heard "yue" instead of "ie" for the word "house." Perhaps I just heard wrong? Can someone explain this all to me?
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Re: iu or yuu

Postby NileCat » Sat 12.04.2010 12:58 am

As you know, we don’t distinguish ‘i’ and ‘y’. Average Japanese people can’t differentiate ‘ear’ and ‘year’. Which means, when we pronounce い, it can sound either ‘i’ or ‘y’ to YOUR English ears.
And, ゆう is a colloquial (kind of slangy) version of いう. So, there exist hundreds of pronunciation patterns between “i” and “y” in Japanese, technically speaking. The appropriate sound changes depending on the speech speed, tone, nuance, generation, gender and you name it.
In that sense, the rule your book says seems totally wrong to me. However, as I wrote above, YOUR ears are different from ours. So I might be wrong.
In short,
x「いう」は「ゆう」と常に発音される ← wrong
? “iu” always sounds like “yuu” to ENGLISH speakers ← I have no idea
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Re: iu or yuu

Postby yangmuye » Sun 12.05.2010 9:09 pm

I read in a book recently that "iu" is always pronounced "yuu,"

It's true at least in these two words:言う、アルミニウム(in fact all words ending with ニウム) according to the NHK Accent Dictionary and 現代仮名遣い(昭和61年内閣告示第1号). I can't recall more examples.

I swear I heard "yue" instead of "ie" for the word "house."

Umm, maybe the [i] is just after [u] or [o].
I sometimes think that テレビを見る時は、部屋をあかるくして just sounds the same as 部屋をわかるくして, and 気をつけて sounds like 気よつけて.
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Re: iu or yuu

Postby micahcowan » Tue 12.07.2010 6:25 pm

NileCat wrote:「いう」は「ゆう」と常に発音される ← wrong


I'm not really convinced it is. I certainly can't tell the difference. And no one I've ever heard says it like イウ. Compare the sounds in いわいうた versus そういうだ. I realize that the slurring between vowels can change a lot depending on where the word comes from/how it breaks into separate kanji, etc, but I don't think other cases really are as extreme as this.
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Re: iu or yuu

Postby micahcowan » Tue 12.07.2010 6:27 pm

yangmuye wrote:I sometimes think that... 気をつけて sounds like 気よつけて.


Indeed; sometimes it nearly sounds to me (almost) like キョツケテ. "Kyots'kete".
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Re: iu or yuu

Postby NileCat » Tue 12.07.2010 10:01 pm

micahcowan wrote:
NileCat wrote:「いう」は「ゆう」と常に発音される ← wrong


I'm not really convinced it is. I certainly can't tell the difference. And no one I've ever heard says it like イウ. Compare the sounds in いわいうた versus そういうだ.

I think I can convince you. :)
I pronounce it イ at times. :P

I deliberately use いう instead of ゆう when I want to accent the fact that something is actually SAID accurately. It is a sort of emphasis.
Also, another likely situation is when I want to tell something accurately as it is written in a book by reading it aloud. In that case, many people would deliberately use イ sound instead of ユ sound, because there is written the letter い not ゆ.
That’s why I have to say the “always” part in your assumption is wrong. That’s incorrect. If it is “usually” or “in most cases”, however, I agree. Do you know what I mean?

但し前述のように、日本語を第二外国語とする人がそれを「y」音として聞く可能性については否定しません。ただ明らかなことは、その2つの読み方の「使い分け」をする日本人は少なからず存在するという事実です。2つの音は、日本語において同じ音ではありませんから、当然、聞き手に与える印象も違います。ご参考までに。 :bow:


EDIT:
I personally think it is a similar hypothesis claiming that: “bottle” is ALWAYS pronounced “boddle” in English. :(

EDIT2:
Yangmuye-san,
I know NHK has that rule in their broadcasting speaches. (Because it’s not only common but also sounds soft and gentle, in a way.) But “内閣告示現代仮名遣い” doesn’t state the pronunciation. It only defines the proper way to “write” it even when it is pronounced differently. I’m afraid your information resource is not accurate, strictly speaking. JFYI.
http://www.bunka.go.jp/kokugo/frame.asp ... 1208142518
4 動詞の「いう(言)」は,「いう」と書く。
  例 ものをいう(言)  いうまでもない  昔々あったという
どういうふうに  人というもの  こういうわけ
               (本文第2・表記の慣習による特例)

5  語末(特に元素名等)の‐(i)umに当たるものは,原則として,「‐(イ)ウム」と書く。
〔例〕 アルミニウム カルシウム ナトリウム ラジウム
サナトリウム シンポジウム プラネタリウム
  注  「アルミニウム」を「アルミニューム」と書くような慣用もある。
                (外来語の表記・3・撥音、促音、長音その他に関するのもの)
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Re: iu or yuu

Postby yangmuye » Wed 12.08.2010 8:28 am

But “内閣告示現代仮名遣い” doesn’t state the pronunciation.

NileCatさん、間違いないと思います。
付表をご覧になってみてください
http://www.bunka.go.jp/kokugo/main.asp? ... 1000001720
http://www.asahi-net.or.jp/~lf4a-okjm/genkan61.htm
現代語の音韻 この仮名遣いで用いる仮名 歴史的仮名遣いで用いる仮名 例
ユー     いう           いふ            言ふ


しかし、外来語の表記に関しては、NHKのアナウンサーでもその規則に従わずに表記のとおり読むことが多いと思います。しかも、アクセントの規則についても一致を見ません。そして日本語の共通語は標準語としての強制力が無いような感じがします。
不足なんかと言いたいわけでもなく、ただ私たち学習者にとっては如何したら良いかわからなくなってしまったという困惑だけです。
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Re: iu or yuu

Postby NileCat » Wed 12.08.2010 10:41 am

Well, it seems that you’re misreading the intention of this public document, I’m afraid. The purpose of it is to define the notational convention of the modern usage of kana system. It only states that the sound (音韻) pronounced as ユー which used to be written いふ in the historical (archaic) kana system should be written as いう today. It clearly states “現代語の音韻を目印として” in its 凡例. The literal pronunciation is not mentioned here. It only mentions the exceptional usages. Which means it doesn’t rule out the literal pronunciation as a misuse or something. That’s why I’m telling you that your conclusion is erroneous. There is no clearly-stated rule in terms of the “proper” "one and only" pronunciation.

ただ私たち学習者にとっては如何したら良いかわからなくなってしまったという困惑だけです。

Well, no offence, but It seems to me that you’re just confusing yourself. As I wrote above, Japanese い sound has a wider range than English “i”. It tends to become almost “yi-yu”, especially when it is followed by another vowel. That’s it.
Potayto, potahto? :)


(補足) もし日本人の英語学習者が、「英語のcan’t は、キャントですか、カントですか?」と質問したら、何と答えますか? 「そのどちらでもない」が正しい答えでしょう。「日本語の『言う』はiu ですか、yuu ですか?」という質問も、つきつめると同じ事です。そのどちらでもないんです。あえて言うならば、その中間の音が多く使われます。
(また、例えばこの最後の文の「あえて言うならば」を実際に発声した場合、私自身は「あえてゆうならば」とは決して明確に発音しません。「い」の音を強調します。もちろんこれは個人差がある問題ですが、この事実だけをとっても、「常に『ゆう』と発音される(されなければならない)」というのは誤りであることがおわかりいただけるかと思います。)
(更に、ひとつの例として、次の文を音読してみてください--「『ああ言えばこう言う』と云う表現がある」--「こうゆうとゆう」と発音する人と「こうゆうという」と発音する人の割合は、半々くらいではないでしょうか?)
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Re: iu or yuu

Postby micahcowan » Wed 12.08.2010 6:12 pm

NileCat wrote:
micahcowan wrote:
NileCat wrote:「いう」は「ゆう」と常に発音される ← wrong


<snip>

That’s why I have to say the “always” part in your assumption is wrong. That’s incorrect. If it is “usually” or “in most cases”, however, I agree. Do you know what I mean?


Fair enough, but I don't remember anyone (including myself) saying "always". The statement you made is that 常に発音される is wrong, whereas it sounds like you're actually agreeing with me that it's right (for 常に). Or do I misunderstand the meaning of 常に? I thought it meant "usually (but not always)"?
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Re: iu or yuu

Postby NileCat » Wed 12.08.2010 9:17 pm

Interesting case. :D

Firstly, the very first sentence of the very first post in this topic was:
Cyborg Ninja wrote:I read in a book recently that "iu" is always pronounced "yuu," and only written as "iu." Is this true?


Secondly, the definition of 常に is 100%, always.
Maybe you might have read something that 常に is translated as “usually” (80%?) or something. It can happen, because in the conversation level in any language, words are not necessarily used mathematically. “He is always wearing a hat” does not mean he is wearing a hat when he is in bed.
However, when the word 常に is used as…well….propositional content condition in thesis or something, it has to mean 100%, always. Otherwise we can’t adapt mathematical verification to our logic in the discussion.

常にそう発音される = そう発音されなければならない
(Something is always pronounced so = Something must be pronounced so)
And all I wanted to say is that it is not true in this case.
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Re: iu or yuu

Postby blutorange » Thu 12.09.2010 12:41 pm

Some linguistics may help in this matter: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Semivowel&oldid=395771864 Basically, this means that the vowel i and the consonant y (often written j in English) are phonetically (sound wise) the same.
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Re: iu or yuu

Postby micahcowan » Thu 12.09.2010 7:31 pm

NileCat wrote:Secondly, the definition of 常に is 100%, always.


Well, that'd be the source of my confusion, then. Sorry! :)
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Re: iu or yuu

Postby NileCat » Fri 12.10.2010 4:44 am

No problem, Micahcowan-san. :D

Blutorange-san, thank you for providing us helpful and insightful information! 8)
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Re: iu or yuu

Postby kgb4life » Sun 12.12.2010 8:00 pm

I guess it's pretty much the same, as it is written in the previous replies it really depends on you how you want it to sound. I don't think that the Japanese mind if we pronounce it as yuu because it doesn't have to be 100% phonetic.
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Re: iu or yuu

Postby Cyborg Ninja » Wed 12.15.2010 7:38 pm

blutorange wrote:Some linguistics may help in this matter: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Semivowel&oldid=395771864 Basically, this means that the vowel i and the consonant y (often written j in English) are phonetically (sound wise) the same.

Is "iu" a true dipthong, or is it similar to other Japanese semi-dipthongs like "ai" and "oi?" Would a Japanese person consider "iu" to be two syllables?
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