5 Replies ・ Started by NyaZilla at 2020-09-21 18:21:10 UTC ・ Last reply by JayDAshe at 2020-09-30 12:29:27 UTC

What is this "lil tsu" っ n why have I seen other kana half size

I'm continuing my exhausting search to understand the reason to use this character.
Saying it implies a long vowel seems like a summary not an explanation.
Is there a more comprehensive discussion somewhere?

Leebo at 2020-09-21 23:28:02 UTC

Small つ doesn't represent a long vowel. If you saw that somewhere, that's incorrect. It is used where there is something called "gemination", but put more simply, it sounds like a doubled consonant.

The difference between かた and かった is that in かった it's like there is a small pause before finishing the sound of the た.

You can read more about it here.


defski at 2020-09-22 16:42:04 UTC

Wait, for real? I've been learning Japanese for a few years now, and I always thought かった would be pronounced 'kat-tah'. Though, is there a discernible difference between 'kat-tah' and 'kah-tah'? (The dash denotes the pause)

Leebo at 2020-09-22 21:36:23 UTC

@defski well I would say since there is no official way to write what you're writing out, and it's just an approximation of the pronunciation, either way could theoretically be used. I can only recommend listening to natives to get the clearest understanding of the correct pronunciation.

JayDAshe at 2020-09-30 12:27:59 UTC

Actually, っ is not pronounced. It's a pause in the word that has the same duration as another kana.

In songs, they shouldn't cut their words. So they pronounce the previous vowel twice, like it's elongation.

Also if you notice, combinations like きゃ or シュ contain small kana.

JayDAshe at 2020-09-30 12:29:27 UTC

きゃ = "kya" not kiya, and シュ = "syu" or "shu" not "siyu" or "shiyu"...

to reply.