Japonic language family

Japonic
Geographic
distribution
Japan, historically possibly in the Korean peninsula
Linguistic classificationOne of the world's primary language families
Subdivisions
ISO 639-5jpx
Glottologjapo1237[1]
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The Japonic languages

The Japonic or Japanese-Ryukyuan language family includes the Japanese language spoken on the main islands of Japan as well as the Ryukyuan languages spoken in the Ryukyu Islands. The term Japonic languages was coined by Leon Serafim, and the family is widely accepted by linguists,[2] unlike the controversial Altaic hypothesis. The common ancestral language is known as Proto-Japonic or Proto-Japanese-Ryukyuan.[3] The essential feature of this classification is that the first split in the family resulted in the separation of all dialects of Japanese from all varieties of Ryukyuan. According to Shirō Hattori, this separation occurred during the Yamato period (250–710).[4]

Languages[]

The Japonic (or Japanese–Ryukyuan) languages are:

Beckwith includes toponymic material from southern Korea as evidence of an additional ancient Japonic language there:[5]

It is not clear if "pre-Kara" was related to the language of the later Gaya (Kara) confederacy.

Proto-Japonic[]

Proto-Japonic, the proto-language ancestral to all present-day Japonic languages and dialects reconstructed using the comparative method, has been reconstructed by Martin (1987)[6] and Vovin (1994).[7] Reconstructed Proto-Japonic forms from Vovin (1994: 109–111) are given below.

Gloss Proto-Japanese
all *múCí-nà
ashes *pápÍ
bark (n.) *kàpà
belly *pàrà
big *ò̱pò̱-
bird *tó̱rí
bite *kàm-
black *kùrwò
blood *tí
bone *pone
breast *ti/*titi
burn *dák-
cloud *kùmù[C]à
cold *sàmù-
come *kò̱-
die *sín-
dog *ìnù
drink *nò̱m-
dry *káw(V)rá-k-
ear *mìmì
eat *kup-
eye *mà-n
feather *рánÉ
fire *pò-Ci
fish *(d)íwó
fly (v.) *tó̱np-
foot *pànkì
full *mìt-
give *ata[-]pa-Ci
go *káywóp-; *dik-
good *dò̱-
grease *à(n)pùrá
green *àwò; *míntórì
hair *ká-Ci
hand *tà-Ci
head *tumu-; *kàsìrà
hear *kí[-]k-
heart *kòkòró
horn *tùnwò
I *bàn[u]
kill *kó̱ró̱s-
knee *pínsá; Proto-Ryukyuan *tubusin
know *sír-
land *tùtì
leaf *pá
lie *ná-
liver *kímwò
long *nànkà-
louse *sìrámí
man *bò
many *mana-Ci
meat *sìsì
moon *tùkú-
mountain *dàmà
mouth *kútú-Ci
nail *túmá-Ci
name *ná
new *àrà-ta-
night *dùCà
nose *páná
not *-an[a]-
one *pito̱
person *pítò̱
rain/sky *àmâ-Ci
red *áká-
root *mò̱tò̱
round *márú/*máró̱
sand *súná
say *(d)i[-]p-
see *mì-
seed *tàná-Ci
short *m-ìnsìkà-
sit *bí-
sleep *ui-
small *tìpìsà-
smoke *kái[-]npúrí
stand *tàt-
star *pósí
stone *(d)ísò
sun *pí
swim *ò̱yò̱-
tail *bò̱
that *ká-
this *kó̱-
tongue *sìtà
tooth *pà
tree *kò̱- < *ko̱no̱r
two *puta
warm *àta-taka-
water *mí
way *mítí
we *bàn[u]
what *nà[-]ní
white *sírà-Cu
who *tá-
woman *-mina/*míCá
yellow *kú-Ci
you (sg.) *si/*so̱-; *na

The Proto-Japonic numerals are (Vovin 1994: 106):

Gloss Proto-Japanese
one *pito̱-
two *puta-
three *mi-
four *do̱-
five *itu-
six *mu-
seven *nana-
eight *da-
nine *ko̱ko̱no̱
ten *to̱bo
hundred *mwomwo

Origins and classification[]

The relationship of the Japonic (or Japanese–Ryukyuan) languages to other languages and language families is controversial. There are numerous hypotheses, none of which is generally accepted. Japonic is classified as an isolated language family[8] and shows in its proto-form strong similarities to Southeast Asian languages.[9]

Notes[]

  1. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Japonic". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  2. ^ Shimabukuro, Moriyo. (2007). The Accentual History of the Japanese and Ryukyuan Languages: a Reconstruction, p. 1.
  3. ^ Miyake, Marc Hideo. (2008). Old Japanese: a Phonetic Reconstruction. p. 66., p. 66, at Google Books
  4. ^ Heinrich, Patrick. "What leaves a mark should no longer stain: Progressive erasure and reversing language shift activities in the Ryukyu Islands" Archived 2011-05-16 at the Wayback Machine, First International Small Island Cultures Conference at Kagoshima University, Centre for the Pacific Islands, February 7–10, 2005; citing Shiro Hattori. (1954) Gengo nendaigaku sunawachi goi tokeigaku no hoho ni tsuite ("Concerning the Method of Glottochronology and Lexicostatistics"), Gengo kenkyu (Journal of the Linguistic Society of Japan), Vols. 26/27.
  5. ^ Christopher Beckwith, 2007, Koguryo, the Language of Japan's Continental Relatives, pp 27–28
  6. ^ Martin, Samuel E. 1987. The Japanese Language through Time. New Haven & London: Yale Univ. Press.
  7. ^ Vovin, Alexander. 1994. "Long-distance Relationships, Reconstruction Methodology, and the Origins of Japanese". Diachronica 11(1): 95–114.
  8. ^ Kindaichi, Haruhiko (2011-12-20). The Japanese Language. Tuttle Publishing. ISBN 9781462902668. Archived from the original on 2017-03-22.
  9. ^ Alexander, Vovin. "Proto-Japanese beyond the accent system". Current Issues in Linguistic Theory: 141–156. Archived from the original on 2018-05-11.

References[]