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Reconstruction Of Proto-Mainland Japanese Accent

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses a reconstruction of Proto-Mainland Japanese accent and explains how Proto-Mainland Japanese accent evolved into its descendants. Mainland Japanese dialects are classified into three types in terms of accent. These three types are Eastern-type (or Tokyo-type) accent, Western-type (or Kyoto-type) accent, and Southwesterntype (or Kagoshima-type) accent. A reconstruction of Proto-Mainland Japanese is pursued using the Tokyo dialect for Eastern-type Japanese, Kyoto dialect for Western-type Japanese, and Kagoshima for Southwestern-type Japanese. The chapter synchronically analyzes accent systems of modern Tokyo, Kyoto, and Kagoshima. It lists all correspondences among the dialects and reconstructions of an accent class for each correspondence set. The chapter demonstrates how the accent systems of the mainland Japanese dialects have evolved from the reconstructed Proto-Mainland Japanese accent. From the point of view of typology, the locus-register system of Proto-Mainland Japanese has been retained in the Kyoto-type dialects of Mainland Japanese.

Keywords: Kagoshima-type accent; Kyoto-type accent; proto-mainland Japanese accent; Tokyo-type accent



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