This work examines the way in which prominence—a perceptual feature that is highlighted by speakers as being important through prosodic, syntactic, and semantic cues—is marked and perceived in Japanese. Drawing on extensive quantitative data, the authors argue that Japanese, unlike non-agglutinative languages, marks prominence on content words as well as function morphemes, that local F0 boost and boundary pitch movement (BPM) are the cues to mark prominence, that the domain of the focal prominence differs on which cue it is loaded with, and that BPM is possibly aligned to function morphemes and invokes a pragmatic implicature.
Shinobu Mizuguchi is professor emeritus of linguistics at Kobe University.
Koichi Tateishi is professor of linguistics at Kobe College.
Chapter 1 What is Prominence? How is it Perceived?
Chapter 2 Non-focal and Focal Prominence
Chapter 3 Focal Prominence on Lexical Word
Chapter 4 Focal Prominence without Lexical Accent
Chapter 5 Neurocognitive Processing of Prominence
Chapter 6 Prominence in Spontaneous Japanese
Chapter 7 What Does Prominence Do in Japanese?
Using a variety of methods—including production and perception tests, fMRI, and Rapid Prosodic Transcription—the authors challenge some basic assumptions that have informed the study of Japanese sentence-level prominence over the past thirty years. This book is a welcome new perspective on a well-studied topic.
This book provides not only a comprehensible overview of the past literature on Japanese prosody, but also novel findings obtained through several methodological approaches that have not been implemented in earlier studies. Highly recommended for those who are new to the field of intonational phonology as well as for experts on Japanese prosody who are interested in fresh insights from state-of-the-art research.