The Languages of Japan
This book surveys the two main indigenous languages of Japan, Japanese and Ainu. No genetic relationship has been established between them, and structurally they differ significantly. Shibatani has therefore divided his study into two independent parts. The first is the most comprehensive study of the polysynthetic Ainu language yet to appear in English. The second part deals extensively with Japanese. It discusses topics from the evolution of the writing system and the differences between men's and women's speech, to issues of greater theoretical complexity, such as phonology, the lexicon and word formation, and the syntax of agglutinative morphology. As an American trained scholar in Japan, the author is in a unique position that affords him a dual perspective on language deriving from Western linguistic scholarship and the Japanese grammatical tradition.
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accent adjectives adverbial adverbial particles Ainu language Altaic languages analysis applicative formation attributive Austronesian auxiliary basic Classical Ainu colloquial consonants contrast copula correspondences derived direct object discussion distinction elements English example expression fact first-person focus nominal foreign words function grammatical Hanako Heian period honorific form indicate indirect passive inflectional categories inflectional endings intransitive involving irrealis Ishikari Itadori Japan Japanese language Kakehi sensei Kindaichi Korean Kyoto Kyushu large number lexical linguistic loan words marker marking meaning Miyakonojo Modern Japanese mora morpheme morphological Murayama native nominalized clause noun incorporation occurs Old Japanese pattern personal affixes phonetic phonological phrase pitch predicate prefix Prof pronouns reading referent Ryukyuan Ryukyuan dialects S-J words Sakhalin semantic sentence speaker speech structure subject honorific suffix syllable Table Taro Taroo Tohoku Tokyo topic construction traditional transitive verbs typically verbal voicing vowel harmony vowels word formation Yonaguni yukar