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Accent Change

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Chapter Summary

This chapter determines whether there are natural accent changes in languages. The chapter consists of two main parts: one is concerned with the Japonic languages (Japanese and Ryukyuan) and the other focusing on languages other than Japonic. Each part of the chapter discusses characteristics of accent changes that are seen in languages. The Japonic section is important for reconstruction of earlier forms of Japanese and Ryukyuan accent, because reconstruction is based on natural accent changes. The second part presents some insight on accent change, comparing Japonic accent changes with those of other languages. The chapter discusses diachronic accent changes that took place in the history of Japonic languages as well as synchronic processes. Kindaichi tries to determine rules of accent change on the basis of both comparisons of historical materials with modern Kyoto-type dialects and comparisons of careful speech with careless speech.

Keywords: accent changes; Japonic languages; Kindaichi; Ryukyuan accent



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