Questions tagged [ryukyuan-languages]

琉球語派. Indigenous languages of the Ryūkyū Islands, including Okinawan (ウチナーグチ, 沖縄語), Miyako (ミャークフツ・スマフツ, 宮古口・島口), Yaeyama (ヤイマムニ, 八重山物言) and others. These languages are distinct from Japanese and are not to be confused with local dialects of Japanese such as Okinawan Japanese (ウチナーヤマトグチ, 沖縄大和口, 沖縄弁) which is Japanese as spoken by the people of Okinawa Prefecture.

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7
votes
1answer
145 views

Did labialized consonants remain in Ryūkyūan?

The labialized velar consonants are rare even in historical Japanese; besides (possibly) one verb (kweru), they (kwa-, gwa-, kwe-, gwe-) occur only in some Sino-Japanese morphemes. In Japanese, they ...
5
votes
1answer
173 views

Difference between Okinawan and Yaeyama language

Are locals on the Yaeyama islands also using Okinawan words/phrases or is it a completely different language? For example can I use はいさい (hello) or くわっちーさびら (thanks for the food) on the Yaeyama ...
3
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1answer
97 views

What is the reading of the town 北谷?

What is the reading of the town 北谷? ちゃたん or ほくたに? It is a town in Okinawa. Most Japanese read it as Hokutani or Kitatani. Okinawans say Chatan. Is it a dialect? Could all terms be correct?
4
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0answers
140 views

Phonetic Mapping of the Hiragana System Used in the Okinawan Omoro Sōshi

The classical Okinawan poetry collection the Omoro Sōshi is written (mostly) in Hiragana, but the phonetic mapping of the characters to sounds seems to be different to their standard mapping. For ...
5
votes
1answer
974 views

What are these Okinawan kana-like characters?

I was taking a look at Wikipedia's page on the Ryukyuan languages when I came across the following picture: The billboard on the left features three kana-like characters that I have never seen before,...
4
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3answers
377 views

Does Okinawan have syllables Japanese doesn't?

I know Okinawan is usually (nowadays) written in katakana. However, katakana only has a limited number of different syllables, fewer than can be produced in, say, English (e.g. th). Does Okinawan have ...
2
votes
2answers
720 views

Is there a “right” or “best” way to write this Okinawan expression for “cheers”?

When I was still in Okinawa I learned how to say "cheers" / "乾杯{かんぱい}". You can either say just karii or you can use the extended version I pefer karii sabira. My question is how to write it? I have ...
3
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1answer
408 views

Do Japanese's sister languages have equivalents of the particles は and を?

Okinawan definitely has a particle equivalent to the Japanese subject particle が. But I can't seem to find something like the topic particle は or the object particle を. Then again I only have ...
13
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2answers
687 views

In Okinawan, what is the ン in ウチナーンチュ?

The Okinawan word for "Okinawa" is ウチナー, for "person" is チュ, and for "Okinawan" (person) is ウチナーンチュ. I'd like to know where this ン comes from between the part for "Okinawa" and the part for "person". ...
2
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1answer
768 views

Is there a special word in Okinawa for “cheers” / “乾杯{かんぱい}”?

Another traveller in my guesthouse in Naha thinks his local friends taught him a special local word for "cheers", that might sound like "kuri" or "kali". But the Okinawan owner of the guesthouse ...
18
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9answers
2k views

Are there any common Japanese words which were borrowed from Ainu or other indigenous languages?

I know plenty of Japanese words that came from English and a few from other European languages (obviously tons from Chinese), but what about words from Japan's indigenous languages such as Ainu? Also ...