2016 Volume 20 Issue 1 Pages 47-60
In this paper we test the hypothesis that Ikema, a dialect of Miyako Ryukyuan, has a three-pattern accent system, where three accent classes, Types A, B, and C, are lexically distinguished, in contrast with previous studies which have claimed that it has a two-pattern accent system. The results of our analysis confirm the existence of three distinct accent classes. The three-way distinction can only be observed in quite restricted conditions, including when nouns followed by one or more bimoraic particles precede a predicate. The results also reveal that Type A words are few in number, indicating that Type A words are in the process of merging with Type B.