So I know that in different parts of Japan, words can be pronounced differently. I’ve been running on the assumption the pronunciations given in the recordings and the ones given by http://weblio.jp/ (which is what the plug-in draws from) would both be the Tokyo neutral Japanese. However, there are some obvious discrepancies. I’m just wondering what to make of them.
I’m not an expert in how the pitch accent system works and I’m not expecting a complete explanation of it. Just tell me if I need to learn more about it first before I can get why some words get pronounced differently from what I’d expect.
Example: 走行 gets the 0 pitch (low high stay-high) from weblio but the guy saying it says “soUkou” with the pitch dropping on the “ko”-mora or maybe on the last “u”. I think there have been even more clear examples though.
Personally, I hear it as a heiban pattern. My native girlfriend agrees that it sounds correct.
She did crack a wry smile at the… dramatic(?) way he says it, though.
One thing to keep in mind is that the pitch accents that you see in pitch accent dictionaries, such as what 三省堂’s 大辞林 is using (that’s the dictionary on weblio that shows pitch accent info), are intended to show what is acceptable to use in national TV or radio presentation. In that regard, it’s fairly prescriptive. So accent contours that are used by regular folks, but wouldn’t be used by TV news anchors, won’t be listed among the options. This means it’s a helpful resource for people looking to speak in such a way, but for people with less strict speech parameters, it will not include all the info that could potentially be helpful.