Roger Mills wrote:
> How about final nasal plus vowel? I'd assume no devoicing there.
> What is the rule for word-medial devoicing?  My impression is "between
> voiceless stops", but how about ...s__[vl.stop]... ?  I also have the
> impression it involves /i, u/ more than the low vowels??

It's only high vowels, /u/ more than /i/, spoken more than sung.  Not
sure how formality plays into this.  It's between voiceless consonants
or after a voiceless consonant word-finally.  So, _sutoraiku_ (borrowing
of "strike"), for example, is often pronounced [sM_0toraik_0] (or even

Incidentally, _u_ between identical voiceless consonants is very rare.
It tends to lead to geminates, for example, _gaku_ "study" + _kou_
"school" -> _gakkou_ "school", boku "wood(en)" + ken "sword" -> bokken
"wooden practice sword"

> A friend once maintained that the "correct" pronunciation of _sukiyaki_ was
> more like "skiyaki", (I suppose [s=kiyaki]) which seems possible though I've
> never noticed it e.g. in Japanese restaurants.

Well, [sMkiyaki] isn't actually wrong (I have, in fact, heard that
pronunciation once or twice), but [sM_0] or [s=] would be more common.
In fact, I think the voiced vowel would mostly only be used by children
or in song.

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