The BG Language Creation Guide
Japanese Segment Inventory and Phonology
NB: this is not meant as a thorough or exhaustive description of Japanese phonetics or phonology. The data are simplified for pedagogical purposes. Place, manner and voicing of consonants are not given here.
/p t k b d g s z h m n r! j w/
/r!/ = a voiced flap
Japanese has contrastive vowel length:
CF /obason/ 'aunt' /aba:san/ 'grandmother'
Maximum Syllable CjVC
- any consonant may begin a syllable.
- However, if two consonants are at the beginning of a syllable, the second one must be /j/.
- There are two kinds of consonants that may appear syllable-finally.
- /n/ and
- any consonant that is identical to the beginning of the next syllable. the two form a geminate.
- Thus, these are legal words in Japanese:
hon, hon-da, kit-te, nip-pon
- these are not:
hop, hod-na, kis-te kit-se
- [t] becomes [tS] before [i] and [ts] before [u]. elsewhere it remains [t]
- /tur!u/ [tsur!u]
- /satu/ [satsu]
- /ati/ [atSi]
- /tiba/ [tSiba]
- /taru/ [taru]
- [d] becomes [dZ] before [i] and remains [d] elsewhere
- [s] becomes [S] before [i] and remains [s] elsewhere
- /asi/ [aSi]
- /samu/ [samu]
- [h] becomes [f] before [u] and remains [h] elsewhere
- /huru/ [furu]
- /hako/ [hako]
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