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Title:Half rhymes in Japanese rap lyrics and knowledge of similarity
Authors:Shigeto Kawahara
Comment:In Journal of East Asian Linguistics (JEAL). This is a prepublication version.
Abstract:Using data from a large-scale corpus, this paper establishes the claim that in Japanese rap rhymes, the degree of similarity of two consonants positively correlates with their likelihood of making a rhyme pair. For example, similar consonant pairs like {m-n}, {t-s}, and {r-n} frequently rhyme, whereas dissimilar consonant pairs like {m-sh}, {w-k}, and {n-p} rarely do. The current study adds to a body of literature that suggests that similarity plays a fundamental role in half rhyme formation (Holtman 1996; Jakobson 1960; Steriade 2003; Zwicky 1976). Furthermore, it is shown that Japanese speakers take acoustic details into account when they compose rap rhymes. This study thus supports the claim that speakers possess rich knowledge of psychoacoustic similarity (Steriade 2001ab, 2003).
Type:Paper/tech report
Article:Version 1