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Paper short abstract:
In this presentation, I report on tendencies in the occurrence of fusion in the spoken language of the Edo period using a corpus annotated with information on the regional differences and social status of speakers.
Paper long abstract:
In this presentation, I will investigate and analyse phonological fusion in spoken language in the Edo period using the Corpus of Historical Japanese (CHJ). In particular, it is well known that vowel fusions often occur.
(1) wakai > wakee 'young', hairu > heeru 'enter', aite > eete 'opponent'
(2) omae > omee 'you', kaeru > keeru 'go home', mae-kami > mee-kami 'bangs'
(3) futoi > futee 'thick', ototoi > ototee 'two days ago', omoitsuki > omeetsuki 'idea'
In the fusion of vowels within a word, there are many instances of the changes /-ai/ → /-eR/ and /-ae/ → /-eR/, as exemplified in (1) and (2). Changes such as /-oi/→/-eR/ in (3) are seen in some limited vocabulary.
In addition, postpositional particles sometimes fuse with words immediately before and after them. In particular, the binding particle wa (は) frequently fuses with an immediately preceding pronoun.
(4) Soryaa (sore + wa) hontou no koto ka. 'Is that true?' Satokagami (1791)
(5) Onoshaa (onoshi + wa) dokee (doko + e) iku. 'Where are you going?' Kyojya Hogen (1771)
The fusion of both vowels and particles tends to occur in Edo rather than in Kamigata (Kyoto and Osaka). It is not a change affecting all speakers, but the lower the speaker's social status, the more likely fusion is to occur.
The corpus used in this investigation is annotated with the attributes of the speaker in the conversation and includes detailed information about the speaker's region, status, and gender. I use the CHJ to collect and analyse examples of fusion based on detailed speaker information. I will also examine the interpretation of examples that appear to be exceptions.
Studies of Early Modern Japanese Based on the Corpus of Historical Japanese