Multiple but not necessarily optional pronunciations

In English, there exists words like “complex” where the pronunciation differs based on circumstance.

I’m not sure how true it is, but I’ve read somewhere that 戸口 is pronounced TOguchi as a name but toGUCHI to mean doorway and they’re not interchangeable. I’m inclined to believe it because it makes a lot of sense if true.

I’ve also noticed that if an accent lands on a devoice-able mora, then there seems to be options to move it off of said mora.

For example, gives these for 記者 and 美術館`

Do natives have any preference either way on these? I can see how English speakers may be inclined to use the second pronunciation of both words. (Personally, I’ve only recently been able to even hear downsteps on devoiced morae. It’s not hard to misconceive it as impossible.)

Finally, it would be nice if everyone who responded told how they would read the word “complex” in the first sentence of the post. Did you say COMplex (like the noun) or comPLEX (like the adjective)? What version of English do you speak/not speak?


ComPLEX as an adjective, COMplex as a noun. [American West coast, California learned, Pacific Northwest accustomed]

In Japanese, it seems in some cases the way you pronounce the word (pitch accent, which is not quite tonality like Chinese, but also not stress accent) can not only change the meaning, but also what word you’re saying, e.g. 橋、端、箸

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Some words do change their pitch based on how they are used.

Here’s one example


I read ‘complex’ as the noun. I think I would only read it the adjectival way if actually used as an adjective. I am Dutch but my English tends towards English-English. Not sure which region. Sometimes I feel like I sound posh, and some words I pronounce Australian-y (woddah, for example). I watched a London series called Top Boy (set in East London) and for a while all posts I read hear sounded like that accent.

My Japanese pitch accent skills are non-existent, and I still need to work on voiced vs unvoiced vowels.


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