Amis Language
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Amis Language
Amis
Pangcah
Pronunciation[pa?t?sa?]
Native toTaiwan
Ethnicity200,000 Amis people (2014)[1]
Native speakers
unknown, but "much less" than the ethnic population[2]
Latin script
Language codes
ami
Glottologamis1246[3]
IETFami[4]
Formosan languages 2008.png
(purple) Greater Ami
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Amis is the Formosan language of the Amis (or Ami), an indigenous people living along the east coast of Taiwan. Currently the largest of the Formosan languages, it is spoken from Hualien in the north to Taitung in the south, with another population near the southern end of the island, though the northern varieties are considered to be separate languages.

Government services in counties where many Amis people live in Taiwan, such as the Hualien and Taitung railway stations, broadcast in Amis alongside Mandarin. However, few Amis under the age of 20 in 1995 spoke the language. It is not known how many of the 200,000 ethnic Amis speak the language, but overall a third of the aboriginal Taiwanese population do.

Dialects

Amis is a dialect cluster. There are five dialects, Southern Amis, Tavalong-Vataan, Central Amis, Chengkung-Kwangshan, and Northern Amis (Nanshi Amis, which includes Nataoran).

Sakizaya is a moribund language spoken among the northernmost ethnic Amis but is mutually unintelligible with the Northern Amis dialect.

Phonology

The following discussion covers the central dialect of Amis (Maddieson & Wright).

Consonants

Labial Dental Alveolar Palatal Velar Epiglottal Glottal
Nasals m n? ? ⟨ng⟩
Plosives and
affricate
p t? t?s ⟨c⟩ k ? ~ ? ⟨'⟩ ? ⟨^⟩
Fricatives v ⟨f⟩ ð? ~ ⟨d⟩ s ⟨s⟩ (?) ⟨g⟩? ? ⟨x⟩? h ⟨h⟩?
Trill r ⟨r⟩
Lateral flap ⟨l⟩
Approximants w ⟨w⟩ j ⟨y⟩

The voiceless plosives /p t k ?/ and the affricate /t?s/ are released in clusters, so that cecay "one" is pronounced [t?s?t?saj]; as is /s/: sepat "four" is [s?pat?]. The glottal stop is an exception, frequently having no audible release in final position. The voiced fricatives, /v ? ?/ (the latter found only in loanwords) are devoiced to [f ? x] in utterance-final and sometimes initial position. /?/ may be interdental or post-dental. The sibilants, /t?s s/, are optionally palatalized ([t ?]) before /i/. /j/ does not occur in word-initial position. /?/ is often post-alveolar, and in final position it is released: [?u?u] "fog".

/?/ shows dramatic dialectical variation. In Fengbin, a town in the center of Amis territory, it is pronounced as a central dental fricative, [ð?], whereas in the town of Kangko, only 15 km (9.3 mi) away, it is a lateral []. In Northern Amis, it is a plosive [d?], which may be laxed to [ð?] intervocalically. The epiglottals are also reported to have different pronunciations in the north, but the descriptions are contradictory. In Central Amis, /?/ is always voiceless and /?/ is often accompanied by vibrations that suggest it involves an epiglottal trill . Edmondson and Elsing report that these are true epiglottals initially and medially, but in utterance-final position they are epiglotto-pharyngeal.

Sakizaya, considered to be a separate language, contrasts a voiced /z/ with voiceless /s/.

In the practical orthography, /ts/ is written ⟨c⟩, /j/ ⟨y⟩, /?/ ⟨'⟩, /?/ ⟨^⟩, /?/ ⟨d⟩, /?/ ⟨ng⟩, and /?/ ⟨x⟩.

Vowels

Front Central Back
Closed i u
Mid ()
Open a

Amis has three common vowels, /i a u/. Despite the fact that a great deal of latitude is afforded by only needing to distinguish three vowels, Amis vowels stay close to their cardinal values, though there is more movement of /a/ and /u/ toward each other (tending to the [o] range) than there is in front-vowel space (in the [e] range).

A voiceless epenthetic schwa optionally breaks up consonant clusters, as noted above. However, there are a small number of words where a short schwa (written e) may be phonemic. However, no contrast involving the schwa is known, and if it is also epenthetic, then Amis has words with no phonemic vowels at all. Examples of this e are malmes "sad", pronounced [mam:s], and 'nem "six", pronounced [?nm] or [nm].

Examples of words

  • lotong: monkey/ape
  • fafoy: pig
  • wacu: dog
  • cecay: one
  • tosa: two
  • tolo: three
  • sepat: four
  • lima: five
  • enem: six
  • pito: seven
  • falo: eight
  • siwa: nine
  • polo': ten
  • Compare with Tagalog baboy (pig), tatlo (3), apat (4), lima (5), anim (6), pito (7), walo (8)
  • Compare with Kapampangan asu (dog), atlo (3), apat (4), lima (5), anam (6), pitu/pito (7), walu/walo (8), siyam (9), apulu/apulo (10) and ama (father) and ima (mother)
  • Compare with Ilokano baboy(pig), aso (dog), maysa (1), dua (2), tallo (3), uppat (4), lima (5), inem (6), pito (7), walo (8), siam (9), sangapulo (10)
  • Compare with Javanese lutung (monkey), babi (pig), asu (dog), siji (1), loro (2), telu (3), papat (4), lima (5), enem (6), pitu (7), wolu (8), sanga (9), sepuluh (10)
  • Compare with Sundanese lutung (monkey), babi (pig), hiji (1), dua (2), tilu (3), opat (4), lima (5), genep (6), tujuh (7), dalapan (8), salapan (9), sapuluh (10)
  • Compare with Malay lotong (monkey), babi (pig), satu (1), dua (2), tiga (3), empat (4), lima (5), enam (6), sembilan (9), sepuluh (10)
  • maolah kako mimali = I like to play sports.
  • takaraw ko pita'kod = I jump very high.
  • kalamkam ko kacomikay = I run very fast.
  • Ira ko tata'angay a mata ako = I have big eyes
  • mamangay a ngoyos'= A small mouth
  • takaya'ay a fokes = long hair
  • sowal san ko kahacecay a tamdaw makapahay kako = Everyone tells me that I am beautiful.
  • mafana'ay miasik, misawsaw to kaysing, milidong to fodoy = I can sweep the floor, wash dishes and clothing.
  • maolah midemak kako to tayal no loma' = I love to do household chores.
  • nawhani maolah kako to loma' no mako = Because I love my home.

Grammar

Verbs in the Amis language have some inflections including existential clause, active voice, passive voice, disposal sentence, imperative mood, optative mood, and prohibitive mood.

There are two word orders in Amis language, called "General" Word Order and "Special" Word Order.

Below are some examples of Amis sentence:

"General" Word Order Sentence I : Verb-subject

Example

  • Maomahay ko wama. (The father is working at the farmfield.)
    • mimaomahay: Working (at farmfield)
    • wama: Father
  • Misaholoay ko wina. (The mother is cooking rice.)
    • misaholoay: Cooking (rice)
    • ina/wina: Mother

"General" Word Order Sentence II : Verb-subject-object

Verb Subject Object
Verb, Adjective, etc. ko (Preposition for Subjects)+Nouns to (Preposition for Objects)+Nouns

Example

  • Mifaca' ko kaying to riko'. (The young woman is washing clothes.)
  • Mifaca' koya kaying to riko'. (That young woman is washing clothes.)
    • mifaca': wash(clothes)
    • kaying: young woman
    • riko'/fudoy: clothes

Toponyms

Sing 'Olam (2011:300-301) lists the following Amis names for villages and towns in Hualien County and Taitung County of eastern Taiwan.

  • Jialiwan : Kaliyawan
  • Hualien : Kalingko
  • Boboshe : Pokpok
  • Tianpu : Natawran
  • Taichang : Miyamay
  • Nanhua : Mafuwakay
  • Geliu : Keliw
  • Chinan : Fanaw
  • Shoufeng : Rinahem
  • Dongxing : Cihafayan
  • Shanxing : Cirakayan
  • Fenglin : Cingaloan
  • Changqiao : Cirihan
  • Jialidong : Kalotongan
  • Matai'an : Fata'an
  • Taibalang : Tafalong
  • Fengyuan : Pa'ilasen
  • Qimei : Kiwit
  • Wurao : 'Olaw
  • Hegang : 'Olalip
  • Ruiliang : Fanaw
  • Wuhe : Ma'ifor
  • Lingya / Xiadewu : Lingacay / Satefo
  • Chunri : Kohkoh
  • Lüfu : Mancelan
  • Gongqian : Makotaay
  • Dongchang : Lidaw
  • Lanliao : Tomay
  • Shuilian : Ciwidian
  • Yuemei : 'Apalo
  • Jiqi : Karoroan
  • Xinshe : Paterongan
  • Gongxia : Mararoong
  • Fengfu : Tingalaw
  • Baliwan : Faliyol
  • Fengbin : Fakong
  • Lide : Kudic
  • Gangkou : Makotaay
  • Jingpu : Cawi'
  • Zhangyuan : Koladot
  • Dajulai : Tapwaray
  • Zhenbing : Makrahay
  • Changguang : Ciwkangan
  • Yongfu : Mornos
  • Nanzhuhu : Pakara'ac
  • Baisang'an : Pasongan
  • Jinnalujiao ?: Kinanoka
  • Wushibi : Cidatayay
  • Danman : Ta'man
  • Yiwan : Sa'aniwan
  • Shanxia : Tokar
  • Gaoliao : Takoliyaw
  • Yuli : Posko
  • Tiefen : Afih
  • Lehe : Harawan
  • Antong : Angcoh
  • Wanning : Malingpo
  • Dongzhu : Talampo
  • Xuetian : Mali^wang
  • Fengnan : Cilamitay
  • Chishang : Fanaw
  • Taiyuan : Alapawan
  • Degao : Takofan
  • Ruiyuan : Fong
  • Luye : Palayapay
  • Liji : Dikidiki
  • Kangle : Ining
  • Fengli : Arapanay
  • Bo'ai : Tomiyac
  • Zhongxiao : Mararoong
  • Sanxiantai : Pisirian
  • Chenggong : Madawdaw
  • Zhongren : Cilikesay
  • Heping : Kahciday
  • Jiaping : Kanalatip
  • Fengtian : Paongong
  • Duli : Torik
  • Xiaoma : Tera'
  • Dongho : Fafukud
  • Longchang : Kaningafar
  • Xingchang : Pa'anifong
  • Dulan : 'Atolan
  • Jialulan : Karoroan
  • Malan : Falangaw
  • Taitung : Posong
  • Madan : Matang

References

Citations

  1. ^ "Amis remains Taiwan's biggest aboriginal tribe at 37.1% of total". Focus Taiwan. February 15, 2015.
  2. ^ Amis at Lacito
  3. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Amis". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  4. ^ "Amis". IANA language subtag registry. 29 July 2009. Retrieved 2019.

Sources

External links


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