This paper provides an overview of theoretical and experimental investigations into voiced geminates in Japanese. Active discussion was initiated by Nishimura's () discovery that in Japanese loanword phonology, voiced geminates can be devoiced, when they co-occur with another voiced obstruent (e.g. /doggu/ → /dokku/ 'dog'). This context-sensitive devoicing of geminates has been analyzed within several different theoretical frameworks. The phonetic and psycholinguistic natures of voiced geminates have also been explored, in tandem with corpus-based analyses and computational modeling. This devoicing pattern of voiced geminates in Japanese therefore has had substantial impacts on the recent phonological literature. The empirical focus of this paper is on one simple devoicing phenomenon in Japanese, but implications for general linguistic theories are discussed throughout the paper.
ASJC Scopus subject areas