Select languages to compare:

Labial
Coronal
Dorsal
Radical
Laryngeal
Bilabial
Labio-dental
Dental
Alveolar
Palato-alveolar
Retroflex
Palatal
Velar
Uvular
Pharyngeal
Epi-glottal
Glottal
Plosive
p b                     k ɡ    
 
 
 
 
 
 
Nasal
  m                             ɴ
 
 
 
 
 
 
Trill
                           
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
Tap, Flap
              ɾ                                
Fricative
                                            h  
Lateral fricative
 
 
 
 
                           
 
 
 
 
 
 
Approximant
                          j   w                
Lateral approximant
 
 
 
 
                           
 
 
 
 
 
 
Lateral flap
 
 
 
 
                   
 
 
   
 
 
 
 
 
 
Labial
Coronal
Dorsal
Bilabial
Labio-dental
Dental
Alveolar
Palato-alveolar
Retroflex
Palatal
Velar
Uvular
Sibilant fricatives
                               
 
Front
Near-front
Central
Near-back
Back
 
Close
Near-close
Close-mid
Mid
Open-mid
Near-open
Open
Selected languages: Japanese
UPSID number: 2171
Alternate name(s): N/A
Classification: Ural-Altaic, Japanese
The languages has 20 segments
Frequency index: N/A
Sounds:
Comments: Japanese is spoken primarily in Japan. All vowels may appear long, as may all obstruents - long vowels accent placement may be on either element. Shibatani (1990) reports final nasals as uvulars, varying with the nasalized counterpart of the preceding vowel. /t, d, s, z/ are replaced by palato-alveolar affricates or fricatives before /i, e/. /t, d/ are [ts, dz] before /u/. Some analyses regard these sibilant variants as phonemic because of a residue of problematic cases. Bloch (1950) and Horne (1963) both report that /t, d, n, s/ are dental before /a/; this variant is taken as underlying.
Sources: Bloch, B. 1950. Studies in colloquial Japanese, IV: Phonemics. Language 26: 86-125. Jorden, E.H. 1963. Beginning Japanese, Part I. Yale University Press, New Haven. Martin, S.E. 1952. Morphophonemics of Standard Colloquial Japanese (Language Dissertation 47). Linguistic Society of America, Baltimore. Shibatani, M. 1990. The languages of Japan. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.