Kattobase: The linguistic structure of Japanese baseball chants
Junko Ito and Armin Mester, UC Santa Cruz
On the basis of extensive research, Tanaka (2014) developed a thorough and insightful analysis of Japanese baseball chants of the form
where “X-X-X” is a rhythmic adaptation of a batter’s name. The system is of surprising complexity since the kind of rhythmic adaptation a name receives depends in an intricate way on its length, and Tanaka shows that a set of three rules is necessary where, for example, the rhythmic alignment of the right edge of the input sometimes targets the last mora (i), sometimes the last syllable of the input (ii, iii):
(i) ≤3 moras:
Kakefu (掛布) → kaa-kee-fuu, Etoo (江藤) → ee-too-oo, *ee-ee-too;
(ii) 4 moras:
Ichiroo (一郎) → ii-chii-roo, *ii-chiro-oo, and
(iii) ≥5 moras:
Makudonarudo (MacDonald) → makudo-naru-doo, *maku-donaru-doo,
Oosutin (Austin) → oo-osu-tin, *oo-suu-tin, *oo-suti-nn.
This talk, based on joint work with Haruo Kubozono and Shin’ichi Tanaka, will attempt to develop a new analysis within Optimality Theory where the three distinct patterns emerge from a single and unified set of ranked and violable constraints: Depending on the length of the input, different input-output mappings are selected as optimal.
(Slides for the talk can be found here.)