Tôkyô Japanese has been described as a pitch accent system which contains tonic and atonic words,and has been extensively described and analysed both in and outside Japan. After presenting the basic mechanism of present day Tôkyô Japanese accentuation and offering a summary of two theoretical treatments of it, the chapter enters into the details of each word type accentuation: simplex vs. compound, native vs. Sino-Japanese vs. Western, nouns vs. verbs and -i adjectives, numeral compounds, and so on. A new formal account within the framework optimality theory of the accentuation of Western loans and of that of compound nouns is offered. After exploring the dialectal and sociological variation of accent, the chapter concludes with a discussion on the status of the Japanese word-prosodic system from a typological point of view, since a number of features of this system could be interpreted as tonal rather than accentual.
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