Effects of lexical accent type on rendaku in noun compounds: evidence from production experiments

Volume 19
Issue 3
Masaki Sone, Yuki Hirose
This study investigates morpho-phonological processes involved in Noun-
Noun compound production, focusing on the interaction between segmental level
processing and suprasegmental-level processing. Our production experiments
manipulate lexical accent type in the first and second constituents of compounds
in Tokyo Japanese, which in turn controls the explicitness of the application of the
Compound Accent Rule (CAR). This allows us to examine whether the
explicitness of compound processing at the suprasegmental-level influences the
occurrence of rendaku, which results from segmental planning in compound
The study finds that rendaku is more likely to occur when CAR application is
obvious from the accent pattern of the second constituent. This result is consistent
with an interactive model in which compound construction at a suprasegmental
-level facilitates rendaku application at the segmental level. On the other hand, no
reliable effect of the accent type of the first constituent was observed. This study
thus supports Kawahara and Sano’s (2012, 2014) claim that the original version
of Lyman’s law, but not the strong version, plays a role in the process of
producing novel compounds.

Keywords: rendaku, pitch accent, Japanese, Compound Accent Rule