Online Japanese Accent Dictionary Workshop at Sydney
Date&Time: July 13, Sunday, 1:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Venue: North Ryde campus of Macquarie University
Presenter: Prof. Nobuaki Minematsu (The University of Tokyo)
July 6, Sunday Your application is accepted if a seat is available.
The OJAD (Online Japanese Accent Dictionary) is a web-based online dictionary that can support teachers/learners to teach/learn Japanese prosody. This system was developed with financial support from National Institute for Japanese Language and Linguistics. While many learners want to learn how to speak fluently and naturally, it is a fact that sufficient kinds of learning materials for speaking natural Japanese are not found in the market. Especially, textbooks on prosody training are very rare. This may be one of the reasons why not a few number of teachers, even native teachers, say "Intonation is difficult to teach", "I'm not confident of teaching Tokyo accent well", or "Japanese word accent is very complicated because they are often changed due to word context". To solve these problems, the OJAD has been developed and released. You can access the OJAD here and it is free currently. The OJAD team received an academic encouragement award from the Phonetic Society of Japan (PSJ). You can check a 1-min promotion video of the OJAD (Japanese/English). The OJAD has its facebook page.
Contents of the Workshop
We have given a tutorial workshop of the OJAD all over the world. In the workshop, before showing how to use the OJAD for teaching Japanese prosody, we provide participants with fundamental knowledge of Japanese prosody, especially accent and intonation. The outline of the full tutorial is as follows.
- Many computers today can read Japanese texts rather fluently and naturally. How Japanese language is taught to computers? What kind of reading method is taught to them?
- Provide fundamental knowledge of word accent of Japanese. What is accent sandhi? What is accentual phrase?
- How sensitive are native Japanese to word accent errors made by learners? A fact from listening tests.
- Provide fundamental knowledge of intonation of Japanese. What is the shortcut to master a skill of reading Japanese text naturally.
- Let's use the four functions of the OJAD!
- An example of using the OJAD in a class of public speaking (oral presentation)
- An example of using the OJAD in a class of introducing word accent of verbs.
This article is written by a member of the OJAD team, who teaches the word accent and sentence intonation of Japanese using the OJAD in classes for beginners.This article also helps you understand the content of the full OJAD tutorial.
Workshop in Sydney
We are going to provide a poster presentation at ICJLE and demonstrate a 90-min tutorial workshop at NSJLE. Due to time-limit only limited aspects of the OJAD will be demonstrated in the presentation. If you want to learn the OJAD extensively from the leader of the OJAD team, please participate in the full OJAD tutorial at the Macquarie University at North Ryde campus.
If you want to participate in the tutorial at Macquarie University, please visit this page and type your name and e-mail address
(Deadline is July 6). The registration is free of cost. If the number of participants is larger than 10, we'll give a full and 3.5-hour tutorial there. The workshop is to be held because we already recieved a sufficient number of applications. Note that the capacity is 25 and regisratation is done in a "first come, first served" style. Anybody can participate and the language used will be a mixture of Japanese and English. We have to admit that, because almost all the tutorials were given in Japanese, when we use English even partially, the duration of the workshop will be a little bit longer. You can check English proficiency of the presenter by visiting his poster on the morning of July 11 (Fri).
If we receive more than 10 responses, we'll send all the expected participants more detailed announcement of the OJAD tutorial workshop by email.
Getting to the Venue
There are many different ways to get to Macquarie University. We encourage people to use sustainable methods of travel where possible. There are regular train and bus services extending to areas right across Sydney. If you live within a few kilometres of the campus, cycling and walking are the most healthy, convenient and cheapest ways to travel to Uni. If you drive, then why not consider carpooling or mixing your travel modes for part of the journey?
Please visit this link to explore different options to get to the campus.
Four Functions of the OJAD
The four functions of the OJAD are as follows.
- Search for the accent of an input word
A similar function is already realized in e-dictionaries but the OJAD is more powerful than e-dic apps. The OJAD can show the accent patterns of input verbs, I-adjectives, NA-adjectives not only in the ending form but also in various conjugation forms. It can also show the accent of nouns. Further, the OJAD can show multiple allowed accent patterns of input words, especially I-adjectives. Presentation of word accents is done visually, auditorily, and comprehensively. The OJAD supports 13 major textbooks of Japanese. For example, you can easily check the accent patterns of the verbs of difficulty level 1 that are found from lesson 15 to lesson 18 of Minnano Nihongo.
- Search for the accent of an input verb with a long post-positional expression
The first function shows the word accents of verbs and adjectives only in 12 fundamental conjugation forms. But a much longer post-positional expression can be found immediately after a verb, for example, "食べようとしたのだが（食べ+よう+と+し+た+の+だが）". In the second function, for any input verb with a long post-positional expression, its accent pattern is visually presented to users.
- Display the word accent of the verbs and adjectives automatically extracted from any input text
This function first extracts all the verbs and adjectives automatically from any input text and then, presents their accent patterns visually in the 12 fundamental conjugation forms.
- Display an adequate intonation pattern and an adequate accent pattern for any input text and read the text according to those patterns using a speech synthesizer
Even if Hiraganas are assigned to all the Kanji characters in a text, it is often still difficult for learners to read the text naturally. This is because various kinds of information are still hidden in the Hiragana text. For example, prosodic information such as intonation and accent is not shown at all. Which vowel should be devoiced? Which word boundary without explicit punctuation should have a short pause? This kind of speaking control is done unconsciously by native Japanese but it has to be done by learners consciously. However, the Hiragana text tells nothing about this. The fourth function is a prosodic reading tutor, which can assign an adequate intonation pattern and an adequate accent pattern for any input text. Japanese word accent is often changed due to word context and the assigned accent pattern is a pattern after word accent change. The function can also read out the text according to the assigned patterns using a speech synthesizer.
You can know more details of the above four functions by reading this review article of the OJAD.