View Full Version : phonetic tenten?

14th April 2003, 03:21
Or whatever those dots are called. You know how when you chain two words together, often a tenten will be added to the second word to make it sound better?

some examples:
chirashi + sushi ---> chirashiZushi
nagare + hoshi ----> nagare boshi
ha + kaki -------------> hagaki

Is there any rule to when to throw in the tenten? Because obviously you don't always add tenten.

And... a more specific question, with my limited Japanese I figure, to say "to stop a spear" = "yari wo tomeru"

Now, if I want to slum the whole thing together and make it one word (kind of like making it a noun), would I say "yaritome"? Or "yaridome"?



Daniel Lee
14th April 2003, 04:36

The 'tenten' are more often than not referred to as just that - although they're more formally known as dakuten. The process you're talking about is called rendaku, in which an unvoiced sound (for example k, t, h) follows a strong sound, and is thus transformed to the stronger, voiced sound. Some budo related rendaku include:

kusari + kama = kusarigama
jin + tachi = jindachi
fukuro + shinai = fukurojinai

To some extent, many of these are used in general by martial artists, while some (like fukurojinai) are a little less black-and-white, and are not pronounced that way by all (i.e. quite a few pronounce it 'fukuro shinai'). :)

14th April 2003, 06:52
Thank you Daniel. I am horrible with linguistic terms x__x

One more request..., can you check up "stop spear" for me? (yaritome? yaridome?) Tanomu kara! Onegai! SVP! Please? ;)


Daniel Lee
14th April 2003, 07:17
Hi Cody,

No sweat - "yariDome" is the pronunciation most use!

Nihongo, Ganbatte ne :)

Andrei Arefiev
14th April 2003, 07:38
Originally posted by Cody
Is there any rule to when to throw in the tenten? Because obviously you don't always add tenten.

Rendaku occurs when two words are joined to make a compound, but only if the second part of the compound doesn't already have a voiced sound. Nasals ("n", "m") and "r" are not voiced for this purpose. See the examples that Mr. Lee posted. As for words, where no rendaku occurs, here's one example: kami + kaze = kamikaze (*kamigaze), since "z" is voiced.

Of course, if it's not a compound word but separate words, there should be no rendaku: e.g. "chudan-no kamae" vs. "wakigamae". I'd guess "fukurojinai" vs. "fukuro shinai" is a matter of structural interpretation: one compound word vs. a noun modifying another noun.

P.S. Thank god for Optimality theoretic phonology :)

Best regards,

14th April 2003, 10:13
Daniel sama, Andrei sama,

iroiro oshiete kurete arigatou. kimitachi no yo-ni jyoju ni naru tame, korekara mo isshogenmei nihongo wo benkyo shimasu ^__^

San-kyo! (Thank you! :D)


Meik Skoss
14th April 2003, 11:13
That'd be "isshokenmei" and "san-kyu" I think. Udderwise, you're right on, and that's no bull. Thanks, Andrei, for the disquisition on rendaku. That's very concise and very helpful. Now, if you'd care to comment on "wa" and "ga" -- I'm not very good at particle physics and those two give me the s--ts...

Andrei Arefiev
15th April 2003, 09:27
Cody, Meik,

Arrgh, if you think I understand what you're saying, you're wrong :) At least I could look up "disquisition" in a dictionary, but that post in Japanese is still way above me :)

I should say that I'm only beginning to learn Japanese, and the only reason I can say anything about rendaku is that it was part of the general phonology course that I took (BTW, now I'm not too sure whether "r" should block rendaku or not). Sorry, Meik, particles were not part of that or any other course, so I won't be able to tell you anything.

Best regards,

15th April 2003, 10:18
Meik san> Thanx for correction. BTW... I think I am spending too much time in aikido =__= Of course it's san-kyu!

Andrei san> Thanx for sharing the knowledges! My education in the language is very informal, and I don't have a clue what the rules/ linguistic terms are. But the lil message was supposed [all the errors aside...] to mean

thank you for teaching [me] all that!
In order to become as proficient as you guys,
from now [I will] study Japanese very hard

Turns out we are both learning! Good luck with Japanese studies :)


15th April 2003, 12:22
I was taught many hard and fast rules for when to use wa and ga, and have spent the past decade learning when to break those rules.
Basically, wa indicates the general subject of the sentence, whilst ga is the more specific indicator of the perpetrator of action.
To that end, dropping the wa-subject is generally accepted, since it's obvious from context:
boku-ha, basu-ga sukidesu.
As for me, I like buses.

This of course gets into the area where you drop so much from the sentence you end up saying:
boku-ha sushi desu.
I am sushi.
(As for me, I'll have the sushi.)

...I think I'll just stop now before my brain explodes.

renfield kuroda