Month: March 2014

Japanese Origins and Dialects

Quite a long time, scientists were convinced that Japanese is a sort of kind of aloof, does not belong to any known linguistic groups. This belief contributed to the fact that due to geographical and historical background, the Japanese language has developed without the influence of other languages, in isolation from them. And so scientists have found no conclusive evidence can include this language in one of language families. Recently research papers have appeared which allow to relate Japanese to the Altaic family of languages, and that it akin to the Korean. At least so say some linguists. The Altaic group of languages other than Korean, includes Mongolian, Manchu-Tungus, and Turkic languages. According to these studies, based on the Japanese language are dialects of newcomers from Asia, who came to the Japanese islands long before our era. Also, there are studies who argue that the Japanese influenced public speaker who lived in Japan before the arrival of newcomers from Asia.

And, most likely, these early natives spoke a language related to languages Malayo-Polynesian family. Most likely, the Japanese language was a synthesis of languages Altaic and Malayo-Polynesian language families. It should also say that on the northernmost island of Japan – Hokkaido, home to the people Hayinu whose language is very different from Japanese, and that so far no linguists are not assigned to any group of languages. The close geographical position of Japan and China, the Japanese language has undergone considerable influence Chinese language. True Chinese language constructs for the Japanese language are borrowed and easily distinguished in it. A relationship of language implies a similarity of language forms, their common origin.

Therefore, these two Language – Japanese and Chinese are not related. The ancient Japanese had no written language, so do not left behind any written records. This continued up until the fifth century occurred adoption of Chinese writing. At this time appeared the so-called old-Japanese who had lost a number of features in the future. For example, compared with the modern Japanese language with five vowels, old-Japanese had eight. Gone are also some grammatical and morphological features. Modification of the old-Japanese in modern language occurred during the long period between the twelfth and sixteenth centuries. The Japanese language has many dialects, coupled with the location of Japan's four major (Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu) and many small islands. Dialects are so different from each another, for example, dialects residents of Kyushu and Okinawa are not clear for the rest of the Japanese. Now in Japan there are two most common dialects: the dialect spoken by tokiytsy and which is considered General Japanese language and dialect of the western region of Japan – Kansai, spread in the cities of Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe. In the twentieth century, the introduction of a unified school system, as well as widespread proliferation of media and television, the difference between dialects begins to flatten. A less common dialects were gradually replaced in the field of communication within the family.