JSL romanization (JSL stands for Japanese: The Spoken Language, a textbook by Eleanor H. Jorden, Yale University Press, 1987) is unusual in the fact that it records Japanese pitch with diacritical marks (for more info about Japanese pitch, see: Japanese accent), while other romanizations usually don't record this information. The acute (´) marks the first mora with a high pitch tone, and the grave (`) marks the last mora with a high pitch tone. When a high pitch lasts for only one mora, the circumflex (ˆ) is used.

  • hâsi - chopsticks.
  • hasî - 橋 bridge, or 端 edge.
  • âme - rain.
  • amê - candy.
  • kâmi - Shinto god. (see: kami)
  • kamî - paper.
  • hêeki - weapon.
  • heékì - doing well, being without troubles.
  • yâkusya - translator.
  • yakúsyà - actor.
  • tôosan - father.
  • toósàn - bankruptcy.
Japanese intonation is actually a bit more complicated than so far stated because there are two kinds of high pitches that can come at the end of a word. One kind causes a particle word that follows it to become a high pitch, the other doesn't.