Vowel Devoicing in Tokyo Japanese

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Date created
2004-05-20
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Abstract
This paper proposes a phonological analysis for vowel devoicing in Tokyo Japanese using the framework of Optimality Theory (Prince and Smolensky, 1993). Generally speaking, in Japanese the high vowels /i, u/ are devoiced when they
occur between two voiceless consonants. However, there are some contexts where such a simple generalization does not hold, e.g., so called “word-final devoicing” and when devoiceable vowels are accented. This paper attempts to provide a
unified analysis for such issues as well as for the canonical context.
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