The Japanese Lexicon: A Rendaku Encyclopedia

Project leader:Timothy J. VANCE
Professor, Department of Linguistic Theory and Structure, NINJAL
Project Period:November 2010 - March 2016
Research field:linguistics
Keywords:rendaku, morphophonemic alternations, history of Japanese


The ultimate goal of the project is to produce a rendaku "encyclopedia", treating all aspects of rendaku-related research. The topics covered will include: (1) the historical development of rendaku, (2) Lyman's Law, (3) the right-branch condition, (4) rendaku and morphological/semantic structure, (5) rendaku and vocabulary strata, (6) interactions between rendaku and other morphophonemic alternations, (7) interactions between rendaku and accent, (8) psycholinguistic studies of rendaku, (9) dialect differences in rendaku, (10) rendaku and orthography, (11) rendaku and Japanese language education, (12) the history of research on rendaku. Additional topics may be added as the project proceeds, and the encyclopedia will also contain a comprehensive bibliography of relevant research.

The main activities of the project will include research meetings and international symposia, both held on a regular basis, and the research results that emerge will be incorporated into the encyclopedia. Rather than just a collection of papers by different authors, the project leader will work on each chapter with the contributors to make sure that the final project is a unified whole. To reach the widest possible audience, the plan is to include both Japanese and English versions of each chapter. The project will also produce a database of vocabulary items relevant to rendaku research that will be made publically available.

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