Teach Yourself Japanese
Subject: Re: pronunciation of えい
From: TAKASUGI Shinji (tssf.airnet.ne.jp)
Date: Sat, 01 May 2004 14:34:09 GMT
References: 1, 2
> In most dialects (or at least, in the most commonly-spoken dialects, as well as Standard Japanese), えい is pronounced exactly the same as ええ, in every case.
It's not perfectly right. If you read the modern Japanese orthography carefully, you'll find it is undefined whether the pronunciation of えい in Standard Japanese is "ei" or "ê." It says long vowels are written as ああ, いい, うう, ええ, and おう, and this means when the orthography was defined, the pronunciation of えい remained "ei" in most dialects, including Tôkyô dialect. Even now, we hesitate to pronounce 時計 as "tokê" when we sing, while we commonly sing 行こう as "yukô," not "yukou."
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