Could you recommend a good reference for studying Japanese phonetics?

  • 1
    Note that reference-request is meant for gathering resources on a topic but not for mere recommendations (even if I can see the two things are easily mistakable). I'm converting this to Wiki since it's sort of fundamental for the language.
    – Alenanno
    Mar 28, 2013 at 21:49

3 Answers 3


Here's a good book on Japanese phonetics:

Suski, P. M. [1931] 2011. The Phonetics of Japanese Language: With Reference to Japanese Script. Taylor & Francis.

It's probably available at your library and there's a preview available on Google Books.


I recommend a great book: "Грамматика японского языка. Введение. Фонология. Супрафонология. Морфонология" by В. М. Алпатов, И. Ф. Вардуль, С. А. Старостин. That's the best piece I ever read on theoretical phonetics of Japanese.

The annotation:

Данная книга представляет собой общее теоретическое введение к грамматике современного японского языка. Во вводной части определяются общие принципы построения грамматики, рассматривается строение языковой системы, в том числе фонологический, супрафонологический и морфонологический ярусы. В разделе «Фонология» описываются звуки современного японского языка, которые затем объединяются в фонемы; рассматривается фонемная структура слога. В разделе «Супрафонология» описана акцентуация современного японского языка. В разделе «Морфонология» рассматривается звуковая структура морфем и глоссем (слов) японского языка, неодинаковая в исконной и заимствованных подсистемах; описаны разные типы чередований.


Let me please also to recommend some good interactive application, it is iPA Phonetics By John Esling. While reading about phonetics we can notice, that we don't know the pronunciation of some special symbols: for ex. how to pronounce "ʐ" or "ɸ"..? In this case, I strongly recommend this free application. It is easy and very useful to work with.


This APP provides a unique and intuitive touch interface for exploring the International Phonetic Alphabet as well as numerous voice qualities and articulations. Simply press any symbol or label in the charts to see and hear an illustrative example. Test your knowledge by playing the random guessing games. Amazing laryngoscopic and ultrasound videos accompany sounds articulated in the throat! You can speed up and slow down all the video examples, view full-screen, and more! Press the INFO button on each screen to access additional information.

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