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Japanese P-phoneme, Ryuukyuuan

From:Emily Zilch <emily0@...>
Date:Monday, June 14, 2004, 19:32
{ 20040612,0106 | Nik Taylor } That certainly is a possible
interpretation.  A very tiny number of compounds have /nh/, and there
are a number of recent loans with ungemintaed non-postvocalic /p/, but
in native words, that would be a very reasonable interpretation.  Thus,
we'd have only two fricatives /s/ and /z/, and even greater symmetry in
phonemic inventory."

Clearly the phonology is changing - modern speech has incorporated
foreign phonemes to some degree, such as the aforementioned /wi/ etc.
This is the origin of the tiny number of compounds in n$h (damnit,
what's the symbol? not #) - they are aberrations.

"Actually, /ei/ and /e:/ are still distinguished in many western
dialects, although, as far as I know, /ou/ and /o:/ are merged in all

And I realise now that I should have noted that *OPO's modern form is
written as O-O, the only exception of which I am aware to the rule that
long [ o ] should be written [ ou ].

"Yep.  But, Ryukyuan is generally considered a distinct language."

Yes, it clearly is very distinct from mainland dialects - as I recall
from previous research I did in college, there were two main streams of
Japanese, one being mainland dialects and the other being that of the
Ryuukyuuan dialects. These latter show characteristics of early dialect
admixture - I recall one thesis that displayed interesting evidence
that Ryuukyuuan was settled by sailor-folk who had once had contact
with the most official of dialects, that of the capital. There were
very ancient loanwords for terms relating to trade and the like that
showed the distinct footprint of the Honshuu dialects. I no longer have
access to Harvard's libraries or I'd go check it out right now...

One of my early conlang works involved a isolated modern Ryuukyuuan
dialect - isolated as in having no contact with non-speakers, it was a
steampunk novel I was working on - but I didn't get enough information
before I fell ill with Lyme Disease and had to lie around feverishly
for a month. Afterwards I had completely forgotten about it. Until now,

Damn this list! Always does that to me.



Emily Zilch <emily0@...>Correction: n-h boundary
Nik Taylor <yonjuuni@...>