Lexical H*+L pitch accent in Ryukyuan: Diversities in phonological patterning and phonetic manifestation

Author(s): Yasuko Nagano-Madsen


Lexical pitch accent languages such as Swedish and Japanese have been claimed to exhibit variation in phonological inventory and/or phonetic manifestation of pitch accents. This paper reports variations in the phonetic manifestation as well as phonological patterning of the lexical H*+L pitch accent in two Ryukyuan dialects – Shuri and Nakijin. The F0 manifestation of H*+L pitch accent in the two dialects was examined with reference the phonetic evidence reported for Japanese in previous studies. The results showed that Shuri and Nakijin dialects have two entirely different types of F0 manifestation for their H*+L accent regarding the timing of F0 and accented mora, pitch range, and the behavior of post-accent Ls. Furthermore, both the occurrence and distribution of the H*+L accent in Nakijin are limited while it is not in Shuri dialect.