Asian Forum No.179 “Japanese Long Vowels and Diphthongs”Wednesday,April 10,2019
DATE : 2019/5/27 (Mon.)
TIME : 10:10-11:20
PLACE : Honkan 316
Lecturer: Timothy J. Vance (Professor, Komatsu University)
“Japanese Long Vowels and Diphthongs”
When Japan adopted new kana guidelines in 1946, some mismatches between spelling and modern Tokyo pronunciation remained. One was using <う> (u) as the default representation for the second half of the long vowel /oR/. Officially, /ou/ (as in /hirou/ 拾う) is <ou> and /oR/ (as in /hiroR/ 疲労) is <ō>, <ô>, or <oo>, but the most popular romanization for /oR/ is now <ou>. I will propose that this unreformed kana spelling, probably reinforced by romanized computer input, has triggered a kind of spelling pronunciation, with speakers starting to shift from /oR/ to /ou/.