Japanese silent U

TommyVercceti

Japanese silent U

Postby TommyVercceti » 2005-05-29, 0:02

Could you tell me about japanese silent U? Why is it silent in many words (Desu ka, karasu, gosaimasu, yusuke (anime character), kyosuke (anime character)
and when does silent u happen???

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Postby Psi-Lord » 2005-05-29, 0:19

TAKASUGI Shinji wrote:The proper terms are voiced, voiceless, voicing/vocalization, and devoicing/devocalization.

A vowel is devoiced if:

- it is either /u/ or /i/
- and it is between voiceless consonants or at the end of a sentence

unless:

- it is in a mora with an accent fall.

Vowel devoicing depends on a speaker's dialect. Tokyoites usually devoice, while Osakans don't.

Source: http://www.sf.airnet.ne.jp/~ts/japanese/message/jpnEsITHLrHErFGbNMT.html
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Postby RZariski » 2005-05-29, 18:04

Also because the Japanese Alphabet is syllabic and does not have consonants on their own (except n). For example my name is Ross. But in Japanese you have to spell it as Rosu, or Rossu. ロス、ロツス. (If you can see the Japanese alphabet)

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Postby Aymeric » 2005-05-30, 6:20

I asked this question to a Japanese friend, and he told me that he actually pronounces the U, I just can't hear it...
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Postby Psi-Lord » 2005-05-30, 12:33

Aymeric wrote:I asked this question to a Japanese friend, and he told me that he actually pronounces the U, I just can't hear it...

I've heard of Japanese that completely ignore the existance of pitch accents, and would say that two given words (such as the classical example of 橋 versus 箸 in Standard Japanese) are pronounced differently because 'the 漢字 are different'. :P Which takes us back to that old problem of native speakers often being totally unaware of what's really going on, or having a twisted idea about things they just take for granted…
português do Brasil (pt-BR)British English (en-GB) galego (gl) português (pt) •• العربية (ar) български (bg) Cymraeg (cy) Deutsch (de)  r n km.t (egy) español rioplatense (es-AR) 日本語 (ja) 한국어 (ko) lingua Latina (la) ••• Esperanto (eo) (grc) français (fr) (hi) magyar (hu) italiano (it) polski (pl) Türkçe (tr) 普通話 (zh-CN)

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Postby Qcumber » 2005-05-30, 23:46

Psi-Lord
Which takes us back to that old problem of native speakers often being totally unaware of what's really going on, or having a twisted idea about things they just take for granted…


:lol: Yes, I had about such an experience recently.

I have the impression the Japanese unstressed /u/ and /i/ are comparable to the mute E in French. The latter is either completely silent or it is pronounced [œ].
e.g. _demi_ [dmi] / [dœ'mi] "half"


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