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Re: Japanese small tsu (was Re: Tsuhon: tentative phonology)

From:Marcus Smith <smithma@...>
Date:Saturday, May 5, 2001, 1:23
At 5/3/01 11:18 PM -0500, you wrote:
>On Thu, May 03, 2001 at 10:31:14AM -0700, SuomenkieliMaa wrote: > > I just have not come to understand the variations that > > occur at the end of some words. Don't have details, > > just heard that once... Well, in Japanese they have > > the small kana "tsu" intercept in the event you want > > to make the following syllable's initial consonant > > doubled. So, "matto" is spelled with the small kana > > "tsu" after "ma" and before "to" -- and the double "t" > > would be said with aspiration prior to it. Now, that > > to me is (among other things in J.) atrocious! > >Aspiration? I've never noticed that. Can anyone else corroborate this?
I can anti-corroborate that. That is, I feel quite comfortable in saying that Japanese does not aspirate prior to a geminate. My reasons are many. For one, I've worked on Japanese for three years, including phonetic stuff and I've never heard a trace of the aspiration in question. Secondly, I talked to a classmate of mine (a native Japanese speaker who works on phonetics). She has no trace of aspiration in her speech (we checked), nor has she heard of any such phenomenon in the literature or her own work. I think what is meant by "aspiration" here must be the "silence" found in geminates before the release. Marcus Smith Unfortunately, or luckily, no language is tyrannically consistent. All grammars leak. -- Edward Sapir