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Vowel Lengthening and Vowel Shortening in Murayama Japanese

  • 日本硏究
  • 2017, (44), pp.127-145
  • DOI : 10.20404/jscau.2017.02.44.127
  • Publisher : The Center for Japanese Studies
  • Research Area : Humanities > Japanese Language and Literature
  • Received : December 31, 2016
  • Accepted : February 1, 2017
  • Published : February 20, 2017

LEE BYEONG HOON 1

1전남대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This paper aims to examine the vowel lengthening and shortening in Murayama Japanese within the framework of Optimality Theory. Short vowels in mono-moraic nouns become to long vowels in Murayama Japanese. This lengthening is due to a minimum size restriction. Due to the constraints Lx≈PrWd and Headedness(PrWd), a lexical word must contain at least one foot. And the constraint FtBin requires feet to be either disyllabic or bimoraic. Hence a lexical word must at least be bimoraic. But mono-moraic nouns cannot satisfy the minimum word requirement. Therefore, Vowel lengthening occurs in mono-moraic nouns to be bimoraic words. Long vowels are shortened in word final position in Murayama Japanese. To account for this phenomenon, I adopt constraints NonFinality(μ'), NonFinality(σ'), Align-R, and Max-μ. And I proposes the ranking NonFinality(μ') ≫ Align-R, NonFinality(σ')≫ Max-μ. Align-R requires that any accent falls as far to the right as possible. Nevertheless, because NonFinality(μ') dominates Align-R in the dialect, the final accent is not allowed. Hence an accent appears on the penultimate mora. By the way when a word final vowel is long vowel, if an accent is located on the penultimate mora, the markedness constraint NonFinality(σ') is violated. To avoid this violation, long vowels are shortened in word final position in Murayama Japanese.

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