Junctural Alignment in Kyoto Japanese Compound Nouns

Andrew Angeles


Descriptively, in Tokyo Japanese compound words whose second member measures up to four moras in length, compound accent is placed on the syllable immediately preceding or following the boundary, or "juncture," between compound members. The length of the second member of the compound determines which of the two possible syllables is accented. Kubozono (1995) proposes an analysis with a constraint which requires that compound accent be aligned with the juncture. However, Ito and Mester (2018) account for compound accent location without reference to the juncture.

Kyoto Japanese compound accent placement is similar to that of Tokyo Japanese (Nakai 2002) with a crucial difference: compound accent is placed on the mora, not the syllable, immediately preceding or following the juncture. This results in a discrepancy in which compound accent is placed on the first mora of a heavy syllable in some cases and on the second mora of a heavy syllable in other cases. I demonstrate that this discrepancy makes alignment to the juncture indispensable for Kyoto Japanese and that general left and right alignment constraints relativized to three levels of recursive word (maximal, minimal, any) cannot by themselves place compound accent in the correct location in all cases.


Japanese; Kyoto Japanese; Optimality Theory; Juncture; Alignment; Compounds; Compound Accent

Full Text:


DOI: https://doi.org/10.3765/amp.v9i0.4922

Copyright (c) 2021 Andrew Angeles

License URL: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/