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ILCAA Joint Research Project

Reconsideration of the tonal typology of Japonic languages

Reconsideration of the tonal typology of Japonic languages


  • Japonic languages
  • Bantu languages
  • restricted tone systems
  • intragenetic typology


  • East Asia (mainly Japan)
  • Sub-Saharan Africa



About the Project

Project term: April, 2021–March, 2024

  This research project will discuss various tonal systems and phenomena observed among Japonic languages by incorporating knowledge of cross-linguistic studies on tonal languages into existing research on the accents of Japonic languages. Specifically, this research project seeks to (1) reinterpret traditional descriptions by considering the word-prosodic systems of Japonic languages as restricted tone systems; (2) redefine terms and concepts unique to the theory of Japanese accentology in the context of general linguistics; and build a typology which enables researchers to understand the diversity of tonal systems among Japonic languages.

Hayato AOI, Project Coordinator
(Research Associate, ILCAA)



  • Hayato AOI (ILCAA)


  • Daisuke SHINAGAWA
  • Keita KURABE

Joint Researchers

  • Kenan CELIK
  • Tatsuya HIRAKO
  • Shu HIRATA
  • Kunihiko KUROKI
  • Yosuke MIKI
  • Kohei NAKAZAWA
  • Rihito SHIRATA



The 2nd meeting Report (Japanese)(557KB)

  • Date/Time: Sat 7 Aug 2021 10:00–17:00
  • Venue: Online meeting
  • Language: Japanese
  • Jointly sponsored by Core Project “Linguistic Dynamics Science3 (LingDy3)”, Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (B) “Fieldwork on the accent systems of Miyako Ryukyuan, the Southern Ryukyuan languages” (Tetsuo NITTA (Kanazawa University) Project number: 20H01259)
  • 1. Daisuke SHINAGAWA (ILCAA)
    “Overview of Bantu Tonology”
    2. Tatsuya HIRAKO (ILCAA Joint Researcher, Nanzan University)
    “Rereading de Boer (2010)”
    3. Hayato AOI (ILCAA Research Associate, NINJAL)
    “Word-prosody of the Tarama dialect of Miyako Ryukyuan: Pitch-accent or privative tone language?”
    4. Celik KENAN (ILCAA Joint Researcher, NINJAL)
    “Accent systems of Miyako Ryukyuan: Review and perspective”
    5. All participants
    General discussion

The 1st meeting Report (Japanese)(579KB)

  • Date/Time: Sun 9 May 2021 13:00–16:00
  • Venue: Online meeting
  • Language: Japanese
  • Organized by Core Project “Linguistic Dynamics Science3 (LingDy3)”
  • Hayato AOI (ILCAA Research Associate/ NINJAL)
    All participants
    General discussion

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