Japanese word game--syllable reversal? (1)

1 名前: 名無しさん@日本語勉強中 : 2010-03-12 07:24 ID:gLQ0FST5

Hi everyone,
I'm writing a paper on the Japanese phonological wordplay of reversing syllables (hopefully, as it pertains to mora and footing structure). This kind of stuff is mostly slang words, so it's hard to gather data from published sources. Colloquialisms are much nicer to gather from actual speakers of the language!

Most of the data I have so far are rude words. For example:
hoteru -> teruho, kizaru -> zakiru
Here we can see that the first two mora (evidence for bimoraic foot structure) are reversed to "slangify" the word. More interesting stuff is like:
oppai -> paiotsu.
Here we can (hypothetically) see a bit of orthography coming out. Since the "p" in "oppai" is a geminate, it is marked with 'tsu', and thus "oppai" is composed of the phonemes /o/ /tsu/ /pa/ /i/. Since we now have two fully bimoraic feet, we reverse them, and the word becomes /pa/ /i/ /o/ /tsu/. Even though the 'tsu' was originally a diacritic, we can see how after it becomes shuffled around, it is ultimately realized as an actual phoneme, no longer an orthographic marker.

Anyway, I hope this brief explanation gets the point across! I've mainly used the text "Japanese Street Slang" by Peter Constantine (who seems like a bit of a dolt) to get this data so far. If anyone else has any examples, please share them! I am not a speaker of Japanese, so I hope someone else, native speaker or not, can lend some intuition into this subject, hopefully with more examples! Thank you!

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