TUFS Language Modules


Consonant-glide sequences are sounds where a consonant, a glide and a vowel combine to form one mora. kya, kyu, kyo ( きゃ、きゅ、きょ ), mya, myu, myo ( みゃ、みゅ、みょ ) are some examples of consonant-glide sequences. Although a consonant-glide sequence is transcribed by using two characters, it is pronounced as one sound and counted as one mora. Thus, kya ( きゃ ) should not be pronounced as two sounds, such as kiya ( きや ) or kia ( きあ ) . When pronouncing ki ( ) in the usual way, the mouth is open with your lips slightly spread horizontally, which is similar to the position when pronouncing the vowel [i]. However, when pronouncing kya , the lips should not be spread horizontally. Pronouncing kya resembles pronouncing a simultaneously when trying to pronounce ki in a single sound. Likewise, to pronounce byo in byōin びょういん(病院) (hospital),try saying o concurrently with bi without spreading your lips sideways. Take note that the vowel [i] could hardly be heard. If the [i] is pronounced too strongly, byōin (hospital) could be misinterpreted as biyōin びよういん(美容院) (beauty salon).