This book provides the fullest account of Japanese phonology ever published. At the same time it makes original contributions both to current understanding of the Japanese sound system and to contemporary phonological theory more generally. After a consideration of the history of linguistic variation in Japanese, the book focuses on modern standard Japanese and its major dialectical variations. Professor Labrune presents a critical overview of current Japanese phonology and new analyses of the central features of Japanese phonology, including segment inventory, the phonology of voicing, the nature of moraic segments, the mora, the syllable, the foot and the upper prosodic units, and accent. Drawing on her own extensive research and on published work in and outside Japan Professor Labrune presents a synthesis of work within and outside Japan. In doing so she shows the great value as well as some of the limitations of approaches derived from Japanese traditional linguistics and philology, work which has largely been ignored outside the country. Her balanced, clear presentation will appeal to phonologists and their advanced students throughout the world.