Pronounciation rules (一斤 and 二斤)

The bread just happens to be incidental here but what’s a good rule of thumb for knowing when to use the sub-tsu to cut or change word pronounciation:


In other words, what rule makes it いっきん rather than ichikin?


Wikipedia’s got a pretty useful table on this subject, though keep in mind the Golden Rule of Japanese: All Rules Have Exceptions, Including This One.


Mostly it boils down to if “ichiwhatever” would be hard to say, make it into a gemination (double consonant) instead. But “difficult to say” is somewhat subjective. The chart shows that anything starts with ichi-k becomes ikk-, and ichis- becomes iss- and a few others. You’ll eventually develop a feel for it.


For counting things, it’s also always good to remember that 1s, 3s, 6s, and 8s tend to change pronunciations.

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