2021 Volume 25 Pages 23-40
In the Onotsu dialect of Kikai Ryukyuan, address nouns such as kinship terms and personal names exhibit peculiar behavior in terms of vowel length alternation and tonal patterns. This paper describes the phonological characteristics of address nouns, and argues that vocative falling intonation effected diachronic changes in the lexical features of the address nouns. The hypothesis proposed in this paper is that address nouns underwent two sequential changes: accent shift, and vowel lengthening. The latter is presumed to have been partly prevented by the least phonologically independent particles, which has resulted in the peculiar characteristics of address nouns.