TUFS Language Modules


Suppose a word has a voiceless sound in its initial sound, for example from the ka, sa, ta or ha columns. When another word is attached in front of this word to form a compound word; then, there are cases when the voiceless initial sound of this word becomes voiced. We call this change of sound from voiceless to voiced sequential voicing. For example, kusuri (くすり(薬)medicine) is a word with the voiceless sound ku as its initial sound. When we attach me (め(目)eye) in front of kusuri, it forms the compound word megusuri (めぐすり(目薬) eye lotion). In other words, by putting me and kusuri together to form a compound, the ku of kusuri becomes the voiced gu, and the compound word is pronounced as megusuri.