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Previous Scholarship: A Critical Review

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Chapter Summary

This chapter critically reviews previous major studies on the accentual history of the Japonic languages, such as: Hattori (1933a, 1937, and 1951), Kindaichi (1975 [1954]), Tokugawa (1978 [1962]), Okuda (1975), McCawley (1977), Ramsey (1979), Thorpe (1983), Martin (1987), and Matsumori (1993 and 1998). All of the studies involve a reconstruction of history and pre-history of accent systems in the Japanese language and/or the Ryukyuan language. As far as the accentual history of the Japonic languages is concerned, Hattori's series of articles in Hôgen are the first comparative studies on accent in Japanese dialects. Tokugawa (1978 [1962]) reconstructed Proto-Japonic accent for disyllabic nouns based on accent classes found in modern dialects and also based on the geographical distribution of those accent classes. On the basis of data from Myôgishô, Kunio Okuda proposes a Proto-Japonic accent system; eight accent classes for disyllabic nouns and eleven for trisyllabic nouns.

Keywords: Hattori; Japonic languages; Kindaichi; Okuda; Tokugawa



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