Philip Newton (pne) wrote,
Philip Newton
pne

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The things you learn: Japanese rendaku and Lyman’s Law

Japanese rendaku and Lyman’s Law (Ito & Mester 1986)

iro ‘color’, kamí ‘paper’, iro-gami ‘colored paper’
ike   hana (*pana) ‘flower’, ike-bana ‘flower arrangement’

Lyman’s Law: in Yamato vocabulary voiceless consonants freely combine while voiced do not: futa ‘lid’, fuda ‘sign’, buta ‘pig’, *buda

kámi+kaze -> kami-kaze, *kami-gaze ‘divine wind’
onna+kotoba -> onna-kotoba, *onna-gotoba ‘woman’s speech’

Essentially, what I gather is that if there is already a voiced obstruent (is that the same as a stop or plosive?) in the second word, the initial consonant will not undergo rendaku on combination. Never knew that before.

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