TUFS Language Modules


Moras other than the mora obstruent, such as ‘small tsu ( )’, the mora nasal, the second half of a long vowel, and the second half of a diphthong (ex. i of kai ( かい ( )), are the non-dependent moras. Examples of non-dependent moras are me (め (目) eye) and te (て (手) hand) where each mora consists of one consonant and one vowel, and i (い (胃) stomach) and e (え (絵) picture) where each mora is made up of one vowel.

For words that only consist of non-dependent moras, every mora is pronounced by almost the same duration. Even if a mora is accented, it is pronounced neither strongly nor with a long duration. For example, in kasa (かさ (傘) umbrella) ka is where the accent nucleus is placed. Although ka is pronounced high and sa low, remember not to pronounce ka strongly or to lengthen it. Native Japanese speakers may hear it as kāsa (カーサ) if you pronounced the accent nucleus ka strongly and with a longer duration.