Rendaku
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Rendaku

Rendaku (, Japanese pronunciation: [?endak?], lit. "sequential voicing") is a phenomenon in Japanese morphophonology that governs the voicing of the initial consonant of the non-initial portion of a compound or prefixed word. In modern Japanese, rendaku is common but at times unpredictable, with certain words unaffected by it.

While kanji do not indicate rendaku, they are marked in kana with dakuten (voicing mark).

Examples

Consonants (in Hepburn) undergoing rendaku[1]
Unvoiced Voiced
k -> g
s, sh -> z, j
t, ch, ts -> d, j, z
h, f -> b

Rendaku can be seen in the following words:

+ -> - () (iteration)
hito + hito -> hitobito ("person" + "person" -> "people")
+ -> ?
ike + hana -> ikebana ("keep alive" + "flower" -> "flower arrangement")
+ -> -
toki + toki -> tokidoki ("time" + "time" -> "sometimes")
? + -> ?-
te + kami -> tegami ("hand" + "paper" -> "letter")
+ -> -
ori + kami -> origami ("fold" + "paper" -> "paperfolding")
+ ? -> -?
hana + hi -> hanabi ("flower" + "fire" -> "firework")
+ ? -> -?
hana + chi -> hanaji ("nose" + "blood" -> "nosebleed")
+ -> -
maki + sushi -> makizushi ("roll" + "sushi" -> "nori-wrapped sushi") (Rendaku is prevalent with words that end in sushi.)
+ -> -
yama + tera -> Yama-dera ("mountain" + "temple")
+ -> -
kokoro + tsukai -> kokorozukai ("heart" + "using" -> "consideration" or "thoughtfulness")
+ -> -
oboro + tsuki -> oborozuki ("haze" + "moon" -> "hazy moon")

In some cases, rendaku varies depending on syntax. For instance, the suffix t?ri (, "road, following"), from t?ru (, "to go, to follow"), is pronounced as -t?ri (?) following the perfective verb, as in omotta-t?ri (, "as I thought"), but is pronounced as -d?ri (?, with rendaku) when following a noun, as in yotei-d?ri (?, "as planned, according to schedule") or, semantically differently - more concretely - Muromachi-d?ri (, "Muromachi Street").

Rendaku occurs not only on single-root morphemes, but also "multi-root" morphemes, those that are themselves composed of smaller morphemes. These morphemes may also be of Chinese origin (see kango) or even of non-Literary-Chinese origin (see gairaigo) rather than strictly native.

+ -> -
ken + sha -> kenja ("wise" + "-er" -> "wiseman; philosopher")
Here, kenja is a kango.
+ -> -
ch? + koku -> Ch?goku ("center" + "country; -land" -> "China; Ch?goku")
Here, Ch?goku is also a kango.
+ ?-? -> -?-?
hira + kana -> hiragana ("plain" + "character", compare -?-? katakana, which does not undergo rendaku)
+ ?- -> -?-
kyaku + futon -> kyakubuton ("guest" + "bedding" -> "bedding for guests")
Here, futon is a Chinese borrowing
?- + ?-? -> ?--?-?
roten + furo -> rotenburo ("outdoor" + "bath" -> "outdoor bath")
-? + -? -> -?--?
yumemi + kokochi -> yumemigokochi ("dreaming" + "state of mind" -> "dream state")
+ -? -> --?
oboro + tsukiyo -> oborozukiyo ("haze" + "moonlit night" -> "hazy moonlit night")
Here, tsukiyo is a compound word, composed of tsuki ("moon") and yo ("night")
+ -? -> --?
iro + chaya -> irojaya ("color" + "teahouse" -> "brothel teahouse")
Here, chaya is a compound word, composed of cha ("tea") and ya ("shop"); cha by itself generally doesn't undergo rendaku, but chaya frequently does
+ - -> --
Bon + ch?chin -> Bonj?chin ("Bon" + "lantern" -> "Bon lantern")
Here, ch?chin is a Chinese borrowing, composed of ch? ("portable") and chin ("lamp")
+ - -> --
oya + kaisha -> oyagaisha ("parent" + "company" -> "parent company")
Here, kaisha is a kango, composed of kai ("gathering") and sha ("company")
? + ? ->
kabushiki + kaisha -> kabushikigaisha ("stock-type" + "company" -> "joint-stock company")
+ -> -
ame + kappa -> amagappa ("rain" + "raincoat" -> "raincoat")
Here, kappa is a Portuguese-origin gairaigo, from the Portuguese word capa ("cloak; cape")

Notice that for certain morphemes that begin with the morae chi (?) and tsu (?), their rendaku forms begin with the morae ji and zu, spelled precisely in hiragana as ? and ?, which explains the use of these kana in contrast to the identically pronounced ? and ? (see yotsugana). This isn't a hard and fast rule, however, because it's relaxed in certain older compounds or names, especially those that are so consolidated that they could hardly be recognized as compounds anymore, but rather, as single words themselves.

Rendaku occurs not only in compound nouns, but also in compounds with adjectives, verbs or continuative/nominal forms of verbs.

? + ?-? -> ?-?-?
me + fu-ku -> mebu-ku ("sprout" + "to blow" -> "to bud")
+ -? -> --?
otoko + kira-i -> otokogira-i ("male person" + "dislike; hatred" -> "dislike for men; misandry")
+ ?-? -> -?-?
onna + su-ki -> onnazu-ki ("female person" + "liking; fondness" -> "fondness for women; woman lover")
?-? + ?-? -> ?-?-?-?
o-ki + sa-ri -> o-ki-za-ri ("putting" + "leaving" -> "deserting")
-? + ?-? -> -?-?-?
kuru-i + sa-ki -> kuru-i-za-ki ("being in disarray" + "blooming" -> "unseasonable blooming")
- + -? -> --?
usu- + kitana-i -> usugitana-i ("faint-; light-" + "dirty" -> "dirty")
+ -? -> --?
kuchi + kitana-i -> kuchigitana-i ("mouth" + "dirty" -> "foulmouthed; scurrilous")
?-? + -? -> ?-?--?
ta-chi + toma-ru -> ta-chi-doma-ru ("standing; starting; igniting" + "to stop" -> "to stop")

Properties blocking rendaku

Research into defining the range of situations affected by rendaku has largely been limited to finding circumstances (outlined below) which cause the phenomenon not to manifest.

Lyman's Law

Lyman's Law states that there can be no more than one voiced obstruent (a consonant sound formed by obstructing airflow) within a morpheme.[2] Therefore, no rendaku can occur if the second element contains a voiced obstruent. This is considered to be one of the most fundamental of the rules governing rendaku.

yama + kado > Yamakado, not *Yamagado ("mountain" + "gate" > place name) (* indicates a non-existent form)
hitori + tabi > hitoritabi, not *hitoridabi ("one person" + "travel" > "traveling alone")
yama + kaji > yamakaji, not *yamagaji ("mountain" + "fire" > "mountain fire")
tsuno + tokage > tsunotokage, not *tsunodokage ("horn" + "lizard" > "horned lizard")

Although this law is named after Benjamin Smith Lyman, who independently propounded it in 1894, it is really a re-discovery. The Edo period linguists Kamo no Mabuchi[3][4] (1765) and Motoori Norinaga[5][6] (1767-1798) separately and independently identified the law during the 18th century.

Lexical properties

Similar to Lyman's Law, it has been found that for some lexical items, rendaku does not manifest if there is a voiced obstruent near the morphemic boundary, including preceding the boundary.

Some lexical items tend to resist rendaku voicing regardless of other conditions, while some tend to accept it.

Rendaku usually only applies to native Japanese words, but it also occurs infrequently in Sino-Japanese words (Japanese words of Chinese origin) especially where the element undergoing rendaku is well integrated ("vulgarized").

kabushiki + kaisha > kabushiki-gaisha ("stock" + "company" > "corporation")
ao + shashin > aojashin ("blue" + "photo" > "blueprint")

It is even rarer to find rendaku among words of foreign origin, unless the loanword has become completely absorbed into Japanese:

ama + kappa > amagappa ("rain" + "coat" [a Portuguese loan, capa] > "raincoat").
aisu + k?h? > aisuk?h?, not *aisug?h? ("ice" + "coffee" > "iced coffee")

Semantics

Rendaku also tends not to manifest in compounds which have the semantic value of "X and Y" (so-called dvandva or copulative compounds):

yama + kawa > yamakawa "mountains and rivers"

Compare this to yama + kawa > yamagawa "mountain river".

Branching constraint

Rendaku is also blocked by what is called a "branching constraint".[7] In a right-branching compound, the process is blocked in the left-branching elements:

mon + (shiro + ch?) > monshiroch?, not *monjiroch? ("family crest" + {"white" + "butterfly"} > "cabbage butterfly")

but

(o + shiro) + washi > ojirowashi ({"tail" + "white"} + "eagle" > "white-tailed eagle")

Further considerations

Despite a number of rules which have been formulated to help explain the distribution of the effect of rendaku, there still remain many examples of words in which rendaku manifests in ways currently unpredictable. Some instances are linked with a lexical property as noted above but others may obey laws yet to be discovered. Rendaku thus remains partially unpredictable, sometimes presenting a problem even to native speakers[], particularly in Japanese names, where rendaku occurs or fails to occur often without obvious cause. In many cases, an identically written name may either have or not have rendaku, depending on the person. For example, may be read in a number of ways, including both Nakata and Nakada.

Voicing of preceding consonant

In some cases, voicing of preceding consonants also occurs, as in sazanami (, ripple), which was formerly sasa-nami. This is rare and irregular, however.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Low, James, 2009, Issues in Rendaku: Solving the Nasal Paradox and Reevaluating Current Theories of Sequential Voicing in Japanese. (Senior thesis in linguistics) Pomona College.
  2. ^ http://www.let.leidenuniv.nl/ulcl/faculty/vdweijer/jvoice/rice.pdf
  3. ^ It?, 1928.
  4. ^ Suzuki, 2004.
  5. ^ End?, 1981.
  6. ^ Yamaguchi, 1988.
  7. ^ Otsu, Yukio (1980). "Some aspects of rendaku in Japanese and related problems". MIT Working Papers in Linguistics: Theoretical Issues in Japanese Linguistics 2: 207-227.

References

  • End?, Kunimoto (1981). "Hirendaku no H?zoku no Sh?ch? to Sono Imi: Dakushion to Bion to no Kankei kara". Cite journal requires |journal= (help) (Japanese citation: ?(1981)--?(50-3))
  • Irwin, Mark (April 2005). "Rendaku-based Lexical Hierarchies in Japanese: The Behaviour of Sino-Japanese Mononoms in Hybrid Noun Compounds". Journal of East Asian Linguistics. 14 (2): 121-153. doi:10.1007/s10831-004-6306-9. ISSN 0925-8558.
  • It?, Shingo (1928). Kinsei Kokugoshi. ?saka: Tachikawa Bunmeid?.
  • Kubozono, Haruo (2005). "Rendaku: Its Domain and Linguistic Conditions" (PDF). In Jeroen van de Weijer; Kensuke Nanjo; Tetsuo Nishihara (eds.). Voicing in Japanese. Studies in Generative Grammar. Berlin, New York: Mouton de Gruyter. pp. 5-24. doi:10.1515/9783110197686.1.5. ISBN 978-3-11-018600-0. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2004-09-12.
  • Martin, Samuel E. (1987). The Japanese Language Through Time. New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-03729-5.
  • Shibatani, Masayoshi (1990). The Languages of Japan. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press. pp. 173-175. ISBN 0-521-36918-5.
  • Suzuki, Yutaka (2004). "'Rendaku' no Kosh? ga Kakuritsu suru made: Rendaku Kenky?shi". Cite journal requires |journal= (help) Japanese citation: (2004)--?(?142)
  • Jeroen van de Weijer (2005). Kensuke Nanjo; Tetsuo Nishihara (eds.). Voicing in Japanese. Berlin, New York: Mouton de Gruyter. ISBN 978-3-11-018600-0.
  • Vance, Timothy J. (1987). An Introduction to Japanese Phonology. Albany, N.Y.: State University of New York Press. ISBN 0-88706-361-6.
  • Yamaguchi, Yoshinori (1988). "Kodaigo no Fukug? ni Kansuru: K?satsu, Rendaku o Megutte". Cite journal requires |journal= (help) (Japanese citation: ?(1988)-?-?(7-5))

Further reading

External links


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