Document Type

Student Presentation

Publication Date


Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Michal Temkin Martínez


This presentation details rendaku, a morpho-phonological process in Japanese. According to this process, the initial sound of the second word in a compound (i.e. a word that is made up of two or more words) is altered depending on several constraints in the language. This process can be seen in the word [tegami] ‘letter’, which is a compound comprised of the words [te] ‘hand’ and [kami] ‘paper’. The [k] in [kami] becomes [g] when combined with with [te]. In this presentation, a number of constraints and conditions that determine whether or not rendaku will occur within a compound will be described. This includes whether the word is native to Japanese or borrowed from other languages, and constraints on word reduplication. This study concludes that, although there are very specific constraints on the morpho-phonological system in Japanese, rendaku is still a highly irregular process.