Okinawan Language
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Okinawan Language
Okinawan
/, Uchin?guchi
Pronunciation[?utina:?uti]
Native toJapan
RegionOkinawa Islands
Native speakers
980,000 (2000)[1]
Japanese, Okinawan, R?maji
Language codes
ryu
Glottologcent2126[2]
Linguasphere
  • 45-CAC-ai
  • 45-CAC-aj
  • 45-CAC-ak[3]
Boundaries of the Okinawan Languages.svg
  South-Central Okinawan or Shuri-Naha
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.

The Okinawan language (/, Uchin?guchi, [?utina:?uti]) or Central Okinawan, is a Northern Ryukyuan language spoken primarily in the southern half of the island of Okinawa, as well as in the surrounding islands of Kerama, Kumejima, Tonaki, Aguni and a number of smaller peripheral islands.[4] Central Okinawan distinguishes itself from the speech of Northern Okinawa, which is classified independently as the Kunigami language. Both languages are listed by UNESCO as endangered.[5]

Though Okinawan encompasses a number of local dialects,[6] the Shuri-Naha variant is generally recognized as the de facto standard,[7] as it had been used as the official language of the Ry?ky? Kingdom[8] since the reign of King Sh? Shin (1477-1526). Moreover, as the former capital of Shuri was built around the royal palace, the language used by the royal court became the regional and literary standard,[8][7] which thus flourished in songs and poems written during that era.

Today, most Okinawans speak Okinawan Japanese, although there is a small number who still speaks the Okinawan language, most often the elderly.[9] Within Japan, Okinawan is often not seen as a language unto itself but is referred to as the Okinawan dialect (?, Okinawa h?gen) or more specifically the Central and Southern Okinawan dialects (, Okinawa Ch?nanbu Sho h?gen). Okinawan speakers are undergoing language shift as they switch to Japanese, since language use in Okinawa today is far from stable. Okinawans are assimilating and accenting standard Japanese due to the similarity of the two languages, standardized and centralized education system, the media, business and social contact with mainlanders and previous attempts from Japan to suppress the native languages.[10] Okinawan is still kept alive in popular music, tourist shows and in theaters featuring a local drama called Uchin? shibai, which depict local customs and manners.[11]

History

Pre-Ryukyu Kingdom

Okinawan is a Japonic language, derived from Proto-Japonic. The split between Old Japanese and the Ryukyuan languages has been estimated to have occurred as early as the first century AD to as late as the twelfth century AD. Chinese and Japanese characters were first introduced by a Japanese missionary in 1265.[12]

Ryukyu Kingdom era

Pre-Satsuma

Hiragana was much more popular than kanji; poems were commonly written solely in hiragana or with little kanji. Okinawan became the official language under King Sh? Shin.

Post-Satsuma to annexation

After Ryukyu became a vassal of Satsuma Domain, kanji gained more prominence in poetry; however, official Ryukyuan documents were written in Classical Chinese.

In 1609, the Ryukyu Kingdom was colonized by the Satsuma Domain in the south of Japan. However, Satsuma did not fully invade the Ryukyu in fear of colliding with China, which had a stronger trading relationship with the Ryukyu at the time.[13]

Japanese annexation to end of World War II

When Ryukyu was annexed by Japan in 1879, the majority of people on Okinawa Island spoke Okinawan. Within ten years, the Japanese government began an assimilation policy of Japanization, where Ryukyuan languages were gradually suppressed. The education system was the heart of Japanization, where Okinawan children were taught Japanese and punished for speaking their native language, being told that their language was just a "dialect". By 1945, many Okinawans spoke Japanese, and many were bilingual. During the Battle of Okinawa, some Okinawans were killed by Japanese soldiers for speaking Okinawan.

Language shift to Japanese in Ryukyu/Okinawa began in 1879 when the Japanese government annexed Ryukyu and established Okinawa Prefecture. The prefectural office mainly consisted of people from Kagoshima Prefecture where the Satsuma Domain used to be. This caused the modernization of Okinawa as well as language shift to Japanese. As a result, Japanese became the standard language for administration, education, media, and literature.[13]

In 1902, the National Language Research Council (?) began the linguistic unification of Japan to Standard Japanese. This caused the linguistic stigmatization of many local varieties in Japan including Okinawan. As the discrimination accelerated, Okinawans themselves started to abandon their languages and shifted to Standard Japanese.[13]

American occupation

Under American administration, there was an attempt to revive and standardize Okinawan, but this proved difficult and was shelved in favor of Japanese. General Douglas MacArthur attempted to promote Okinawan languages and culture through education.[14] Multiple English words were introduced.

Return to Japan to present day

After Okinawa's reversion to Japanese sovereignty, Japanese continued to be the dominant language used, and the majority of the youngest generations only speak Okinawan Japanese. There have been attempts to revive Okinawan by notable people such as Byron Fija and Seijin Noborikawa, but few native Okinawans desire to learn the language.[15]

Outside of Japan

The Okinawan language is still spoken by communities of Okinawan immigrants in Brazil. The first immigrants from the island of Okinawa to Brazil landed in the Port of Santos in 1908 drawn by the hint of work and farmable land. Once in a new country and far from their homeland, they found themselves in a place where there was no prohibition of their language, allowing them to willingly speak, celebrate and preserve their speech and culture, up to the present day. Currently the Okinawan-Japanese centers and communities in the State of Sao Paulo are a world reference to this language helping it to stay alive.[16]

Classification

Okinawan is sometimes grouped with Kunigami as the Okinawan languages; however, not all linguists accept this grouping, some claiming that Kunigami is a dialect of Okinawan.[13] Okinawan is also grouped with Amami (or the Amami languages) as the Northern Ryukyuan languages.

Dialect of the Japanese language

Since the creation of Okinawa Prefecture, Okinawan has been labeled a dialect of Japanese as part of a policy of assimilation. Later, Japanese linguists, such as T?j? Misao, who studied the Ryukyuan languages argued that they are indeed dialects. This is due to the misconception that Japan is a homogeneous state (one people, one language, one nation), and classifying the Ryukyuan languages as such would discredit this belief.[17] The present-day official stance of the Japanese government remains that Okinawan is a dialect, and it is common within the Japanese population for it to be called ? (okinawa h?gen) or (okinawa-ben), which means "Okinawa dialect (of Japanese)". The policy of assimilation, coupled with increased interaction between Japan and Okinawa through media and economics, has led to the development of Okinawan Japanese, which is a dialect of Japanese.

Dialects of the Ryukyuan language

Okinawan linguist Seizen Nakasone states that the Ryukyuan languages are in fact groupings of similar dialects. As each community has its own distinct dialect, there is no "one language". Nakasone attributes this diversity to the isolation caused by immobility, citing the story of his mother who wanted to visit the town of Nago but never made the 25 km trip before she died of old age.[18]

Its own distinct language

Outside Japan, Okinawan is considered a separate language from Japanese. This was first proposed by Basil Hall Chamberlain, who compared the relationship between Okinawan and Japanese to that of the Romance languages. UNESCO has marked it as an endangered language.

Sociolinguistics

UNESCO listed six Okinawan language varieties as endangered languages in 2009.[19] The endangerment of Okinawan is largely due to the shift to Standard Japanese. Throughout history, Okinawan languages have been treated as dialects of Standard Japanese. For instance, in the 20th century, many schools used "dialect tags" to punish the students who spoke in Okinawan.[20] Consequently, many of the remaining speakers today are choosing not to transmit their languages to younger generation due to the stigmatization of the languages in the past.[13]

There have been several revitalization efforts made to reverse this language shift. However, Okinawan is still poorly taught in formal institutions due to the lack of support from the Okinawan Education Council: education in Okinawa is conducted exclusively in Japanese, and children do not study Okinawan as their second language at school. As a result, at least two generations of Okinawans have grown up without any proficiency in their local languages both at home and school.[13]

Phonology

Vowels

The Okinawan language has five vowels, all of which may be long or short, though the short vowels /e/ and /o/ are quite rare,[21] as they occur only in a few native Okinawan words with heavy syllables with the pattern /Ce?/ or /Co?/, such as /me?so:?e:/ mens?r? "welcome" or /toa:/ tonf?. The close back vowels /u/ and /u:/ are truly rounded, rather than the compressed vowels of standard Japanese. A sixth vowel /?/ is sometimes posited in order to explain why sequences containing a historically raised /e/ fail to trigger palatalization as with /i/: */te/ -> /t?:/ t? "hand", */ti/ -> /ti:/ ch? "blood". Acoustically, however, /?/ is pronounced no differently from /i/, possibly because palatalization preceded this vowel shift.[]

Consonants

The Okinawan language counts some 20 distinctive segments shown in the chart below, with major allophones presented in parentheses.

IPA chart of Okinawan consonants
Labial Alveolar Alveolo-
palatal
Palatal Labio-
velar
Velar Glottal
Nasal m n (?)
Plosive p   b t   d t   d k?   k   ? ?
Fricative ? s  (z) (?) (ç) h
Flap ?
Approximant j w

The only consonant that can occur as a syllable coda is the archiphoneme |n|. Many analyses treat it as an additional phoneme /N/, the moraic nasal, though it never contrasts with /n/ or /m/.

The consonant system of the Okinawan language is fairly similar to that of standard Japanese, but it does present a few differences on the phonemic and allophonic level. Namely, Okinawan retains the labialized consonants /k?/ and // which were lost in Late Middle Japanese, possesses a glottal stop /?/, features a voiceless bilabial fricative /?/ distinct from the aspirate /h/, and has two distinctive affricates which arose from a number of different sound processes. Additionally, Okinawan lacks the major allophones [t?s] and [d?z] found in Japanese, having historically fronted the vowel /u/ to /i/ after the alveolars /t d s z/, consequently merging [t?su] tsu into [ti] chi, [su] su into [?i] shi, and both [d?zu] dzu and [zu] zu into [di] ji. It also lacks /z/ as a distinctive phoneme, having merged it into /d/.

Bilabial and glottal fricatives

The bilabial fricative /?/ has sometimes been transcribed as the cluster /hw/, since, like Japanese, /h/ allophonically labializes into [?] before the high vowel /u/, and /?/ does not occur before the rounded vowel /o/. This suggests that an overlap between /?/ and /h/ exists, and so the contrast in front of other vowels can be denoted through labialization. However, this analysis fails to take account of the fact that Okinawan has not fully undergone the diachronic change */p/ -> /?/ -> */h/ as in Japanese, and that the suggested clusterization and labialization into */hw/ is unmotivated.[22] Consequently, the existence of /?/ must be regarded as independent of /h/, even though the two overlap. Barring a few words that resulted from the former change, the aspirate /h/ also arose from the odd lenition of /k/ and /s/, as well as words loaned from other dialects. Before the glide /j/ and the high vowel /i/, it is pronounced closer to [ç], as in Japanese.

Palatalization

The plosive consonants /t/ and /k/ historically palatalized and affricated into /t/ before and occasionally following the glide /j/ and the high vowel /i/: */kiri/ -> /ti?i/ chiri "fog", and */k(i)jora/ -> /tu?a/ chura- "beautiful". This change preceded vowel raising, so that instances where /i/ arose from */e/ did not trigger palatalization: */ke/ -> /ki:/ k? "hair". Their voiced counterparts /d/ and /?/ underwent the same effect, becoming /d/ under such conditions: */una?i/ -> /nadi/ Qnnaji "eel", and */noko?iri/ -> /nukudi?i/ nukujiri "saw"; but */ka?e?/ -> /ka?i?/ kagin "seasoning".

Both /t/ and /d/ may or may not also allophonically affricate before the mid vowel /e/, though this pronunciation is increasingly rare. Similarly, the fricative consonant /s/ palatalizes into [?] before the glide /j/ and the vowel /i/, including when /i/ historically derives from /e/: */sekai/ -> [?ike:] shik? "world". It may also palatalize before the vowel /e/, especially so in the context of topicalization: [du?i] dushi -> [du?e:] dus? or dush? "(topic) friend".

In general, sequences containing the palatal consonant /j/ are relatively rare and tend to exhibit depalatalization. For example, /mj/ tends to merge with /n/ ([mja:ku] my?ku -> [na:ku] n?ku "Miyako"); */rj/ has merged into /?/ and /d/ (*/rju:/ -> /?u:/ r? ~ /du:/ d? "dragon"); and /sj/ has mostly become /s/ (/sjui/ shui -> /sui/ sui "Shuri").

Flapping and fortition

The voiced plosive /d/ and the flap /?/ tend to merge, with the first becoming a flap in word-medial position, and the second sometimes becoming a plosive in word-initial position. For example, /?u:/ r? "dragon" may be strengthened into /du:/ d?, and /hasidu/ hashidu "door" conversely flaps into /hasi?u/ hashiru. The two sounds do, however, still remain distinct in a number of words and verbal constructions.

Glottal stop

Okinawan also features a distinctive glottal stop /?/ that historically arose from a process of glottalization of word-initial vowels.[23] Hence, all vowels in Okinawan are predictably glottalized at the beginning of words (*/ame/ -> /?ami/ ami "rain"), save for a few exceptions. High vowel loss or assimilation following this process created a contrast with glottalized approximants and nasal consonants.[23] Compare */uwa/ -> /?wa/ Qwa "pig" to /wa/ wa "I", or */ine/ -> /ni/ Qnni "rice plant" to */mune/ -> /?ni/ nni "chest".[24]

Moraic nasal

The moraic nasal /N/ has been posited in most descriptions of Okinawan phonology. Like Japanese, /N/ (transcribed using the small capital /?/) occupies a full mora and its precise place of articulation will vary depending on the following consonant. Before other labial consonants, it will be pronounced closer to a syllabic bilabial nasal [m?], as in /ma/ [?m?ma] Qnma "horse". Before velar and labiovelar consonants, it will be pronounced as a syllabic velar nasal [], as in /biata/ [biata] bingata, a method of dying clothes. And before alveolar and alveolo-palatal consonants, it becomes a syllabic alveolar nasal /n?/, as in /ka?da/ [kan?da] kanda "vine". Elsewhere, its exact realization remains unspecified, and it may vary depending on the first sound of the next word or morpheme. In isolation and at the end of utterances, it is realized as a velar nasal [].

Correspondences with Japanese

There is a sort of "formula" for Ryukyuanizing Japanese words: turning e into i, ki into chi, gi into ji, o into u, and -awa into -?. This formula fits with the transliteration of Okinawa into Uchin? and has been noted as evidence that Okinawan is a dialect of Japanese, however it does not explain unrelated words such as arigat? and nif?d?biru (for "thank you").

Correspondences between Japanese and Okinawan
Japanese Okinawan Notes
/e/ /i:/[25]
/i/
/a/ /a/[25]
/o/ /u/[25]
/u/
/ai/ /e:/
/ae/
/au/ /o:/
/ao/
/aja/
/k/ /k/ /?/ also occurs
/ka/ /ka/ /ha/ also occurs
/ki/ /ti/ [ti]
/ku/ /ku/ /hu/, [?u] also occurs
/si/ /si/ /hi/, [çi] also occurs
/su/ /si/ [?i]; formerly distinguished as [si]
/hi/ [çi] also occurs
/tu/ /ti/ [ti]; formerly distinguished as [t?si]
/da/ /ra/ [d] and [?] have merged
/de/ /ri/
/do/ /ru/
/ni/ /ni/ Moraic /?/ also occurs
/nu/ /nu/
/ha/ /?a/ /pa/ also occurs, but rarely
/hi/ /pi/ ~ /hi/
/he/
/mi/ /mi/ Moraic /?/ also occurs
/mu/ /mu/
/ri/ /i/ /iri/ is unaffected
/wa/ /wa/ Tends to become /a/ medially

Orthography

The Tamaoton no Hinomon (), referred to as the Tamaudun no Hinomon in modern Japanese, is the oldest known inscription of Okinawan using both hiragana and kanji.

The Okinawan language was historically written using an admixture of kanji and hiragana. The hiragana syllabary is believed to have first been introduced from mainland Japan to the Ryukyu Kingdom some time during the reign of king Shunten in the early thirteenth century.[26][27] It is likely that Okinawans were already in contact with hanzi (Chinese characters) due to extensive trade between the Ryukyu Kingdom and China, Japan and Korea. However, hiragana gained more widespread acceptance throughout the Ryukyu Islands, and most documents and letters were exclusively transcribed using this script, in contrast to in Japan where writing solely in hiragana was considered "women's script". The Omoro Saushi (), a sixteenth-century compilation of songs and poetry,[28] and a few preserved writs of appointments dating from the same century were written solely in Hiragana.[29]Kanji were gradually adopted due to the growing influence of mainland Japan and to the linguistic affinity between the Okinawan and Japanese languages.[30] However, it was mainly limited to affairs of high importance and to documents sent towards the mainland. The oldest inscription of Okinawan exemplifying its use along with Hiragana can be found on a stone stele at the Tamaudun mausoleum, dating back to 1501.[31][32]

After the invasion of Okinawa by the Shimazu clan of Satsuma in 1609, Okinawan ceased to be used in official affairs.[26] It was replaced by standard Japanese writing and a form of Classical Chinese writing known as kanbun.[26] Despite this change, Okinawan still continued to prosper in local literature up until the nineteenth century. Following the Meiji Restoration, the Japanese government abolished the domain system and formally annexed the Ryukyu Islands to Japan as the Okinawa Prefecture in 1879.[33] To promote national unity, the government then introduced standard education and opened Japanese-language schools based on the Tokyo dialect.[33] Students were discouraged and chastised for speaking or even writing in the local "dialect", notably through the use of "dialect cards" (). As a result, Okinawan gradually ceased to be written entirely until the American takeover in 1945.

Since then, Japanese and American scholars have variously transcribed the regional language using a number of ad hoc romanization schemes or the katakana syllabary to demarcate its foreign nature with standard Japanese. Proponents of Okinawan tend to be more traditionalist and continue to write the language using hiragana with kanji. In any case, no standard or consensus concerning spelling issues has ever been formalized, so discrepancies between modern literary works are common.

Syllabary

Technically, they are not syllables, but rather morae. Each mora in Okinawan will consist of one or two kana characters. If two, then a smaller version of kana follows the normal sized kana. In each cell of the table below, the top row is the kana (hiragana to the left, katakana to the right of the dot), the middle row in r?maji (Hepburn romanization), and the bottom row in IPA.

Vowel
Consonant
a i u e o ya yi yu ye yo wa wi wu we wo n
(none)
a
[a]

i
[i]

u
[u]

e
[e]

o
[o]

ya
[ja]

yi
[ji]

yu
[ju]

ye
[je]

yo
[jo]

wa
[wa]

wi
[wi]

wu
[wu]

we
[we]

wo
[wo]

n
[?] ([n?], [], [?])
Q
(glottal stop)

Qa
[?a]

Qi
[?i]

Qu
[?u]

Qe
[?e]

Qo
[?o]

Qya
[a]

Qyu
[u]

Qyo
[o]

Qwa
[a]

Qwi
[i]

Qwe
[e]

Qwo
[o]

Qn
[] ([?n?], [])
k
ka
[ka]

ki
[ki]

ku
[ku]

ke
[ke]

ko
[ko]

kya
[k?a]

kyu
[k?u]

kyo
[k?o]

kwa
[k?a]

kwi
[k?i]

kwe
[k?e]

kwo
[k?o]
g
ga
[?a]

gi
[?i]

gu
[?u]

ge
[?e]

go
[?o]

gya
[a]

gyu
[u]

gyo
[o]

gwa
[a]

gwi
[i]

gwe
[e]

gwo
[o]
s
sa
[sa]

si
[si]

su
[su]

se
[se]

so
[so]
sh
sha
[?a]

shi
[?i]

shu
[?u]

she
[?e]

sho
[?o]
z
za
[za]

zi
[zi]

zu
[zu]

ze
[ze]

zo
[zo]
j
()

ja
[d?a]

()

ji
[d?i]

()

ju
[d?u]

()

je
[d?e]

()

jo
[d?o]
t
ta
[ta]

ti
[ti]

tu
[tu]

te
[te]

to
[to]
d
da
[da]

di
[di]

du
[du]

de
[de]

do
[do]
ts
tsa
[t?sa]

tsi
[t?si]

tsu
[t?su]

tse
[t?se]

tso
[t?so]
ch
cha
[ta]

chi
[ti]

chu
[tu]

che
[te]

cho
[to]
ya yu yo
n
na
[na]

ni
[ni]

nu
[nu]

ne
[ne]

no
[no]

nya
[?a]

nyu
[?u]

nyo
[?o]
long vowel double consonant
?()
~(a, i, u, e, o)
~[V:]

(Any consonant)
[C:]
h
ha
[ha]

hi
[çi]

he
[he]

ho
[ho]

hya
[ça]

hyu
[çu]

hyo
[ço]
f
fa
[?a]

fi
[?i]

fu/hu
[?u]

fe
[?e]

fo
[?o]
b
ba
[ba]

bi
[bi]

bu
[bu]

be
[be]

bo
[bo]
p
pa
[pa]

pi
[pi]

pu
[pu]

pe
[pe]

po
[po]
m
ma
[ma]

mi
[mi]

mu
[mu]

me
[me]

mo
[mo]

mya
[m?a]

myu
[m?u]

myo
[m?o]
r
ra
[?a]

ri
[?i]

ru
[?u]

re
[?e]

ro
[?o]

rya
[a]

ryu
[u]

ryo
[o]

Grammar

Okinawan follows a subject-object-verb word order and makes large use of particles as in Japanese. Okinawan dialects retain a number of grammatical features of classical Japanese, such as a distinction between the terminal form () and the attributive form (), the genitive function of ? ga (lost in the Shuri dialect), the nominative function of ? nu (Japanese: ? no), as well as honorific/plain distribution of ga and nu in nominative use.

Okinawan conjugation
kaku
to write
Classical Shuri
Irrealis kaka- kaka-
Continuative kaki- kachi-
Terminal kaku kachun
Attributive kaku kachuru
Realis kake- kaki-
Imperative kake kaki

One etymology given for the -un and -uru endings is the continuative form suffixed with uri (Classical Japanese: wori, to be; to exist): -un developed from the terminal form uri; -uru developed from the attributive form uru, i.e.:

  • kachuru derives from kachi-uru;
  • kachun derives from kachi-uri; and
  • yumun (Japanese: yomu, to read) derives from yumi + uri.

A similar etymology is given for the terminal -san and attributive -saru endings for adjectives: the stem suffixed with ? sa (nominalises adjectives, i.e. high -> height, hot -> heat), suffixed with ari (Classical Japanese: ari, to exist; to have), i.e.:

  • takasan (Japanese: takai, high; tall) derives from taka-sa-ari;
  • achisan (Japanese: atsui, hot; warm) derives from atsu-sa-ari; and
  • yutasaru (good; pleasant) derives from yuta-sa-aru.

Parts of speech

Nature of the part of speech in a sentence Part of speech
Independent No conjugation Can become a subject Noun ()
Pronoun ()
Cannot become a subject Other words come after Modifies Modifies a declinable word Adverb ()
Modifies a substantive Prenominal adjective ()
Connects Conjunction ()
Other words may not come after Interjection / exclamation ()
Conjugates Declinable word Shows movements Conclusive form ends in "? (n)" Verb ()
Shows the property or state Conclusive form ends in " (san)" Adjective ()
Shows existence or decision of a certain thing " (yan)" attaches to a substantive such as a noun Existential-identificative verb (?)
Shows state of existence of events " (yan)" attaches to the word that shows state Adjectival verb (?)
Dependent Conjugates Makes up for the meanings of conjugated words Conclusive form ends in "? (n)" Auxiliary Verb ()
No conjugation Attaches to other words and shows the relationship between words Particle ()
Attaches to the head of a word and adds meaning or makes a new word Prefix ()
Attaches to the end of a word and adds meaning or makes a new word Suffix ()

Nouns ()

Nouns are classified as independent, non-conjugating part of speech that can become a subject of a sentence

Pronouns ()

Pronouns are classified the same as nouns, except that pronouns are more broad.

Okinawan pronouns
Singular Plural
Personal Demonstrative Personal Demonstrative
Thing Place Direction Thing Place Direction
1st person
  • (wan)
  • (w?)
  • (wami)
  • (watt?)
  • ? (igar?)
2nd person
  • (y?)
  • (y?mi)
  • (n?)
  • (n?mi)
  • (unju)
  • ? (itt?)
  • ? (natt?)
  • (unjun?t?)
3rd person Proximal (kuri) (kuri) (kuma)
  • (kuma)
  • (kugata)
? (kutt?) ? (kutt?) (kuma)
  • (kuma)
  • (kugata)
Medial (uri) (uri) (uma)
  • (uma)
  • (ugata)
? (utt?) ? (utt?) (uma)
  • (uma)
  • (ugata)
Distal (ari) (ari) (ama)
  • (ama)
  • (agata)
? (att?) ? (att?) (ama)
  • (ama)
  • (agata)
Indefinite
  • (t?)
  • ? (ta)
(jiru) (m?)
  • (m?)
  • ? (m?kata)
? (tatt?) (jiru) (m?)
  • (m?)
  • ? (m?kata)

Adverbs ()

Adverbs are classified as an independent, non-conjugating part of speech that cannot become a subject of a sentence and modifies a declinable word (; verbs, adverbs, adjectives) that comes after the adverb. There are two main categories to adverbs and several subcategories within each category, as shown in the table below.

Okinawan adverbs
Adverbs that shows state or condition
Shows... Okinawan Japanese English Example
Time ? (hitch?)
  • (shotch?)
  • (itsumo)
  • (shij?)
Always
  • (?)?

Anu fitund? hitch?, takkwaimukkwai bik?s?n.

Ano f?fu wa itsumo, yorisotte bakari iru.

  • That couple is always sticking close.
? (m?ruk?ti) (tamani) Occasionally
  • ?()? ???()?()?(?)?

Kw? m?ruk?ti, uya nu kash?sh?ga ichun.

  • ?

Kodomo wa tamani, oya no tetsudai ni iku.

  • The kid occasionally goes to help his/her parent.
? (ch?ki) (sugu) Already
  • ?()???

Kunu kurum? ch?ki, k?yandit?ntan.

  • ?

Kono kuruma wa sugu, kowarete shimatteita.

  • This car broke already.
? (yagati) Shortly
  • ??()??(?)(?)??(?)

Yagati, tida nu utiyushiga, unju? k?n.

Yagate, taiy? ga ochiruga, anata wa konai.

  • The sun will disappear shortly, but you are not here.
(n?da) (mada) Yet
  • ()? ?()?()???()

Ariga chim? n?da, n?ran.

Kanojo no kigen wa mada, naoranai.

  • Her mood has yet to become better.
(ch?) (itsumo) Always
  • ?()?

Ama nu in? ch?, abit?n.

  • ?

Asoko no inu wa itsumo, hoeteiru.

  • The dog over there is always barking.
(chut?ya)
  • (sukoshiwa)
  • (chottowa)
A little
  • ??(?)

Chut?ya, match?kiy?.

Sukoshiwa, matteoiteyo.

  • Wait a little.
(attumusu) (ky?ni) Suddenly
  • ? ?(?)?

Dushi nu attumusu, hach?tand?.

  • ?

Tomodachi ga ky?ni, kiteitayo.

  • My friend suddenly came.
? (maruh?j?ya) (fudanwa) Normally
  • ?(?)?()? ? ?(?)?(?)

Tunai nu Sand?s? ya maruh?j?ya nintid?yuru.

Tonari no Sand?-j? fudanwa neteiru.

  • Sanda is normally sleeping.
? (ittuch?) (shibarakuwa) A little while
  • ??()?(?)?

Ittuch?, j?guchi nji match?k?.

Shibarakuwa, mon de matteoke.

  • Wait at the gate a little while.
Quantity (ifi) (sukoshi) A little
  • (?)????()?(?)?()?

Sand?, if?, y? tamashi kara wakitituras?.

Sand?, sukoshi wa kimi no bun kara waketekure.

  • Sanda, please share a little bit of yours.
(chassak?) (takusan) Many, a lot of
  • (?)? ?()??()??(?)??(?)?

Usum? ya yama kara chassak?, tamun, muchich?n.

Oj?-san wa yama kara takusan, maki wo mottekitearu.

  • The old man brought a lot of firewood.
(hatiruka) (zuibun) A lot
  • ()? ??(?)

Chin? ya hatiruka, atchan.

Kin? wa zuibun, aruita.

  • I walked a lot yesterday.
(gwasanai) ? (wansaka) Abundant
  • (?)?()? ?()

Watt? haru nkai ya ?j? gwasanai, mand?nd?.

  • ???

Watashitachi no hatake ni wa sat?kibi wa wansaka aruyo.

  • We have abundant sugar cane in our farm.
  • (mitchak?)
  • (mitchak?)
(ippai) A lot
  • ?()?()?(?)(?(?))

Nmu yar?, shinm?n n?bi nkai mitchak? (mitchak?), and?.

  • ?

Imo nara ?nabe ni, ippai, aruyo.

  • We have a lot of potatoes in the big pot.
? (yukkariussa) (zuibun) A lot
  • (?)? ?()??()? ???(?)

Ikuman nkai ya churak?gi nu yukkariussa, uyu ndi.

  • ??

Itoman ni wa bijin ga zuibin, iru s?da.

  • I heard that there are a lot of beautiful women in Itoman.
? (usumasa) ? (osoroshiku) Extremely, a lot of
  • ??()? ??(?)

Gajanbira nkai ya usumasa, gajan nu uyuta ndi.

  • ?

Gajanbira ni wa osoroshiku, ka ga ita s?da.

  • I heard that there were a lot of mosquitoes in Gajanbira.
(mantak?) (ippai) Full, a lot
  • ?()? ??(?)

Mij? mantak?, iriti, dajirashiy?.

  • ?

Mizu wa ippai, irete, taitene.

  • Put full of water and heat it.
(n?fin) (motto) More
  • ?(?)?(?)??()

Kunu yu nkai mij?, n?fin, nb?tikwir?.

  • ??

Kono oyu ni mizu wo motto, tashitekure.

  • Add more water to this hot water.
(kattengwa) ? (sukoshidake) A little
  • ()?(?)?(?)??(?)?()?

Chiy? nu muchiban m?ya kattengwa, iritituras?.

  • ??

Ky? no bent? wa sukoshidake, iretech?dai.

  • Please give me just a little for today's bento box.
Degree ? (d?jina) (taihen) Very
  • (?)? (?)??()? ??()

Unju ga sanshin nu k? ya d?jina, j?t? yan'y?

  • ??

Anata no shamisen no kawa wa taihen, j?t? desune.

  • The leather of your shamisen is expensive.
(jimama) (zuibun) Fairly, quite
  • ?(?)?()?

Wann? wakasain? ya jimama, binch? shan.

  • ?

Watashi wa wakaikoro wa, zuibun, benky? shita.

  • When I was young, I used to study quite a lot.
(yon?) (sonnaniwa) Not too much
  • (?)?()?

Kundu nu sh?gwachi e yon?, yukurarans?.

  • ??

Kondo no sh?gatsu wa, sonnaniwa, yasumenaina.

  • I cannot rest too much during this New Year's celebration.
? (?ruku) (yoku) Often
  • ???()

Kunu umi nji e ?ruku, uijund?.

Kono umi de wa, yoku, oyoguyo.

  • I often swim in this ocean.
? (niriruka) (unzarisuruhodo) To a sickening degree
  • ()? ???()

Chin? ya niriruka, n?, kay?chan.

  • ??

Kin? wa, unzarisuruhodo, ni wo hokonda.

  • I carried luggage to a sickening degree yesterday.
? (wajiruka) ? (okoruhodo) To the extent someone gets irritated
  • ()? ?()(?)? ??(?)

Jir? ga chukutaru shorui ya kach? ga wajiruka, bapp?t?tan.

  • ?

Jir? ga tsukutta shorui wa kach? ga okoruhodo, machigetteita.

  • The documents that Jira made had so many errors that the department chief got irritated.
? (aiyuka) (totemo) Very
  • ?(?)???()??(?)

Wann? aiyuka, wata nu yadi, hirakit?tan.

  • ?

Watashi wa totemo, onaka ga itakute, shagandeita.

  • I had a very bad stomach ache and was squatting down.
(yukun) (yokei) Even more
  • ??(?)?

Itt? yatch? ya yukun, chijiduyaru.

Kimitachi no ani wa yokei, dame da.

  • Your brother is even worse.
(tatta) (yokei) Even more
  • ?(?)?()? ?(?)? ??(?)

Jikan nu tach?n?, ari ga yanm? ya tatta, wassanayund?.

  • ?

Jikan ga tateba, kare no by?ki wa yokei, warukunaruyo.

  • If you wait longer, his illness will be even worse.
(chuf?ra) (ippai) Full, enough
  • ??(?)

Mun? n?, chuf?ra, kadan.

Shokuji wa m?, ippai, tabeta.

  • I have already had enough food
(ansuk?) (sorehodowa) Not so...
  • ?()? (?)? ?(?)

S? ya sanshin ya ansuk?, j?ji earan.

Ot?-san wa shamisen sorehodowa j?zu dewanai.

  • Father is not so good at shamisen.
(chinchintu) (chirijirini) Dispersed, scattered
  • ?(?)??(?)?()

Kuma nu mangur? chinchintu du, y? y?taru.

Kono atari wa chirijirini ie ga natta.

  • Houses were scattered in this area.
Situation (h?ku) (hayaku) Quickly
  • ()? ?()???(?)?()

Ch? ya h?ku, sutiturashiy?.

Ky? wa hayaku, atsumattekureyo.

  • Please gather quickly today.
(younn?) ? (yukkuri) Slowly
  • ?()??(?)

Mun? awatiran'youi, younn?, kam?.

  • ??

Shokuji wa awatezu, yukkuri, tabeyo.

  • Don't rush when you eat, eat slowly.
? (nankuru) (onozuto) Naturally
  • ??? ?(?)?(?)

T?nain?, nankuru, jinbunmen njitich?sani.

  • ?

Iza to nareba, onozuto, chie mo detekuru dar?.

  • When the time comes, ideas will automatically come to our minds.
(yuttaikwattai) (donburakoto) Adverb for something heavy floating down on water
  • ?()??()??()?()? ??()?(?)

K? nu ui nu hata kara magi mumu nu yuttaikwattai, r?ritichan.

  • ?

Kawa no ue no h? kara ?kina momo ga donburakoto, nagaretekita.

  • A giant peach came floating down the river.
(nagurinaguritu) ? (nagorinagorito) Reluctantly, Nostalgically
  • ?(?)

Nagurinaguritu, wakari nu ?sachi sun.

  • ??

Nagorinagorito, wakare no aisatsu wo suru.

  • We said goodbye reluctantly.
(shinjintu) (shimijimito) Nostalgically

Shinjintu, fushiuta yatin, utatinda.

  • ?

Shimijimito, fushiuta demo, utattemiy?.

  • Let's sing a traditional song nostalgically.
? (shid?shid?) (shidaini) Gradually
  • ()? ?()?()??(?)

Tid? ir? nkai shid?shid?, utit?chun.

  • ?

Taiy? wa nishi he shidaini, shizundeiku.

  • The sun gradually sets to the west.
(chur?sa) (nokorazu) Completely
  • ?(?)? ?()??

Garas? nu chiribukuru, chur?sa, kiz?chin?ran.

  • ?

Karasu ga gomibukuro, nokorazu, asatteshimatta.

  • The crows completely rummaged through the garbage bags.
(duku) (amarinimo) Too much, excessively
  • ??()??()?

Duku, yukushi bik?, sh?n?, bachi, kanjun.

  • ?

Amarinimo, uso bakari tsuitara, batsu ga ataru.

  • If you tell too many lies, you will incur divine punishment.
(dandandandan) (dandan) Gradually
  • ?()?()??()?

N? fans? nu utu o dandandandan, mashinat?n.

Anata no fue no oto wa dandan, yokunatteiru.

  • You are gradually becoming better at playing flute.
(shid?ni) (shidaini) Gradually
  • ()???()??()

Igaroun, shid?ni, tushi, tutan'y?.

  • ?

Wareware mo shidaini toshi wo totta ne.

  • We have gradually gotten old.
(dukudara) (hidoku) Badly
  • ()?

Dukudara, himichi sh?n?, isa nkai mishirand?.

Hidoku, seki kondara, isha ni misenaito.

  • If you start to cough badly, you have to go see a doctor.
? (massugu) ? (massugu) Straight
  • ? ??(?)?

Kuma kara ama nkai massugu, ich?n?, umi nkai njiyun.

  • ??

Koko kara asoko he, massugu, ikuto, umi ni deru.

  • If you go straight from there, you will see the ocean.
(mattouba) (tadashiku) Correctly
  • ?()? (?)? ??()?

N? ya uchin?guch? mattouba, chikariy?.

Kimi wa okinawago wo tadashiku tsukatteyo.

  • Please use Okinawan correctly.
(dattidu) ? (chanto) Properly
  • ?()? ??()

Y? ya dattidu, chukuyund?.

  • ??

Ie wa chanto, tsukurundayo.

  • You must build a house properly.
(daten) ? (kichinto) Neatly
  • ()? ?

Anm? ya ch? ya daten, sugat?n.

  • ?

Haha wa ky? wa kichinto, minari wo totonoeteiru.

  • My mother has dressed neatly today.
(sappattu) ? (sappari) Freshly
  • (?)?

Danpachi s?ni, sappattu, s?n.

  • ?

Sanbatsu wo shite, sappari shiteiru.

  • Looking fresh after a haircut.
(shikattu) ? (shikkari) Carefully
  • ?()??(?)??(?)?

Uya nu yushi, shikattu, chichoukiy?.

  • ??

Oya no iukoto wo shikkari, kiiteokeyo.

  • Listen to your parents carefully.
(ukattuo) (ukatsuniwa) Thoughtlessly, carelessly
  • ?

Anshin, shikenn?, ukattuo, ukiraran.

  • ?

Soredemo, shiken wa ukatsuniwa ukerarenai.

  • You cannot take the exam thoughtlessly.
(tatta) (yokei) Even more
  • ?(?)? ??(?)

Unu yanm? ya nij?n?, tatta, wassanayund?.

  • ?

Sono by?ki wa gaman suru to, yokei, warukunaruyo.

  • If you endure your illness too much, it will get even worse.
Adverbs that shows judgement
Shows... Okinawan Japanese English Example
Assumption (mushi) (moshi) If
  • ()

Mushi, ?bapp?sh?n?, icha suka.

Moshi, iimachigaetara, d? suruka.

  • What would we do if we said something wrong.
? (tatui) (tatoe) Even if
  • ??(?)? ?()? ?()

Tatui, ufukaji nu fuchin, kunu y? ya t?oriran.

Tatoe, ?kaze ga fuitemo, kono ie wa taorenai.

  • Even if a strong wind blew, this house will not fall down.
(tatur?) (tatoeba) For example, if you compare
  • ?(?)? (?)?

Tatur?, Uchin? ya Yamatu nu Hawai yasa.

Tatoteba Okinawa wa Nihon no Hawai sa.

  • If you compare, Okinawa is like Japan's Hawaii.
Supposition ? (iyarin) (?) (kitto (ikanimo)) Indeed, surely
  • ??(?)? (?) ?

Iyarin, kunu s?s? ya yanbaru kw?na du yasani.

  • (?)

Kitto (ikanimo), kono tori wa yanbaru kuina nano dar?ka.

(masaka) (masaka) No way, no idea, unlikely, it is impossible that...
  • ?()()? ??()?

Masaka, chu shima nkai ichiku nu shimayu nd?, um?ntan.

  • ?

Masaka, onaji mura ni itoko ga sundeiru towa omowanakatta.

  • I had no idea that my cousin lived in the same village.
(mushiya) (moshiya) By chance
  • ?()? ?
  • ?
  • Are you as old as I am by any chance?
(mushika) (moshiya) Perhaps
  • ?(?)?()?()?(?)
  • Perhaps, they might be worried about me now.
(masaka) (masaka) No way, no idea, unlikely, it is impossible that...
  • ?()? ??()? ?()

Masaka chyuuya umach? nd? um?ntan

  • I had no idea that today was the festival day.
  • Translation note: ??()[in English?]
? (atamani) ? (hontoni) Really (intensifier)
  • ??()? ?()?
  • ?
  • It's really hot today.
Wish (doudin) (d?ka) Please
  • ??()? ()?(?)
  • Please could you do me a favor?
? (tandi) (d?zo) Please
  • ???()? ?()??(?)?()
  • Please let me drink some water.
(kannaji) (kanarazu) Always, have to
  • ()?()? ?(?)
  • ?
  • The second oldest son has to join the soccer team.
? (ch?shin) (d?shitemo) Have to, at any cost
  • (?)?()??(?)?
  • I want to watch the movie at any cost.
Doubt (ch?shi) (d?yatte) How
  • ? ()???()?
  • ??
  • How do you use this computer?
? (mittai) (ittai) Really
  • ? ?()
  • Really, are you making fun of me?
? (ansuka) ? (sonnani) So much, really
  • ?()??(?)
  • ?
  • Is the lady next door really good at singing?
(n?nchi) (naze) Why
  • ?()??()?
  • Why doesn't father want to go?
Denial or
negation
? (achiran) (ikk?ni) Completely, at all
  • ??()
  • ?
  • No matter how much we hurry, we cannot make any progress at all.
? (j?i) (zettai) Definitely
  • ??()???(?)?
  • ?
  • This rock, the child definitely cannot hold.
(chassan) (do o koshite) Go too far
  • ??()
  • ?
  • You should not go too far when you're playing.
? (ifin) (sukoshimo) At all
  • ??(?)??
  • I'm so busy I cannot rest at all.
(ch?n) ? (d?surukotomo) Cannot do anything
  • ? ?(?)()?
  • ?
  • They don't listen, so I cannot do anything.
Decision ? (junni) (hont?ni) Really, truly
  • (?)? ??(?)
  • This is a truly amazing Sanshin.
(kannaji) (kanarazu) Definitely
  • ?(?)?()??(?)??(?)
  • ?
  • I will definitely go to your place.
(ungutuor?) (sonoy?nakoto) Such a thing
  • ?()? ?()??() ?
  • ?
  • Anybody can do such a thing.
Others (ichandan) ? (muyamini) Recklessly
  • ?()??()?
  • ??
  • People used to recklessly start wars in the past.
(uttati) (wazato) On purpose
  • ?(?)(?)??()
  • ?
  • The boy fell on purpose so that the girl would notice him.
(n?) (m?) Already
  • ?()??(?)?
  • ?
  • The guests are already gone.

Prenominal adjectives ()

Prenominal adjectives ()
Prenominal adjectives are classified the same as adverbs, except instead of modifying a declinable word, it modifies a substantive (; nouns and pronouns).
Okinawan Japanese English
(y?) (ii) good

Conjunctions ()

Conjunctions ()
Conjunctions are classified as an independent, non-conjugating part of speech that connects words coming after to words coming before.
Okinawan Japanese English
(ansab?kutu) ? (s? iu wake desukara) "For that reason"
(anshi)
  • (sorede)
  • ? (sorekara)
"And then"
? (yakutu) (dakara) "So"
(yashiga)
  • (shikashi)
  • ? (s?de wa aruga)
"But"

Interjections and exclamations ()

Interjections and exclamations ()
Interjections are classified as an independent, non-conjugating part of speech, where it does not modify or connect anything, and other words may not come after it.
Okinawan Japanese English Notes
(ai) (oya) Oh / wow

Expression of surprise

(akisamiy?) ? (aram?) Oh dear Expression of dismay, concern, or worry
(akit?n?) ? (oyam?) Oh dear ?

Expression of dismay, concern, or worry

(?) (hai) Yes Honorific "yes"
  • (aibiran)
  • (w?w?)
No

Honorific "no"

(d?)
  • (oi)
  • (dore)
  • (hora)
Hey
(t?)
  • (hora)
  • (yoshi)
All right Expression of pleasure, joy, or permission
? (t?t?)
  • ? (yoshiyoshi)
  • ? (horahora)
(hassamiy?) ? (oyam?) Oh dear ?
(ncha)
  • ? (naruhodo)
  • ? (yappari)
  • (yoteid?rida)
Sure enough, As I expected

Verbs ()

Verbs are classified as an independent, conjugating part of speech that shows movements. The conclusive form ends in ? (n).

Adjectives ()

Adjectives are classified as an independent, conjugating part of speech that shows property or state. The conclusive form ends in (san).

(?)

? are classified as an independent, conjugating part of speech that shows existence or decision of a certain thing. (yan) attaches to a substantive.

Adjectival verbs (?)

Adjectival verbs are classified as an independent, conjugating part of speech that shows the state of existence of events. (yan) attaches to words that shows state.

Auxiliary verbs ()

Auxiliary verbs ()
Auxiliary verbs are classified as a dependent, conjugating part of speech that makes up the meanings of conjugated words. The conclusive form ends in ? (n).
Okinawan Japanese English Example
  • ? (ag?n)
  • ? (agiyun)
(shitsutsuaru)
(gisan) (s?da)
? (gut?n) ? (noy?da)
  • ? (shimiyun)
  • (sun)
(saseru)
(busan) (shitai)
? (mish?b?n) (nasaimasu)
(mish?n) (nasaru)
? (y?sun) (kotogadekiru)
  • (riyun)
  • (r?n)
  • (reru)
  • (rareru)

Particles ()

Particles ()
Case markers ()
Attaches to a substantive and marks the relationship between other words.
Okinawan Japanese Notes/English Example
  • ? (nu)
  • ? (ga)
? (ga) Subject marker. Normally ? (nu). However, if a pronoun is the subject of the sentence, ? (ga) is used. ? (ga) can also be used for names. ? (nu) can be used for any situation.
  • ?()??()?
  • ???
(sshi) ? (de) Indicates the means by which something is achieved.
  • ? (?)
  • ??
  • Let's go by bus.
Ø (Archaic: ? (yu)) ? (wo) Modern Okinawan does not use a direct object particle, like casual Japanese speech. "yu" exists mainly in old literary composition.
(nakai) ? (e) (ni)
(yaka) (yori) "as much as"; upper limit
  • ? () () (?)
  • ?
  • My Japanese isn't as good as his.
(s?ni) Indicates the means by which something is achieved.
  • () (?)? (?)?
  • ??
  • I wrote the letter in Okinawan.
(kara) (kara)
(nkai) ? (e) "to, in"; direction
  • (?)!
  • ?!
  • Welcome to Okinawa!
? (n?r?)
? (wuti) Indicates the location where an action pertaining to an animate subject takes place. Derives from the participle form of the verb wun "to be, to exist".
(wut?ti) Progressive form of ?, and also includes time.
  • ? ()? (?)
  • ?
  • I want to rest (at) here.
(nji) ? (de)
? (n)
? (nu) ? (no) Possessive marker. It may be difficult to differentiate between the subject marker ? (nu) and possessive marker ? (nu).
  • ?()??()??(?)?()
  • ??
?->pp459.
(tu) ? (to)
(ndi) ? (to) Quotative.
? (ni)
Adverbial Particles ()
Okinawan Japanese Notes/English Example
(bik?) (dake)
? (bik?n) (bakari) "only; limit"
  • ? (?)? ()?
  • ??
  • A romaji only book.
(daki) (dake)
(madi) (made) "up to, until, as far as"
  • ? (?)? ()? (?)? ()?? (?)
  • This train goes as far as Shuri. I'll wait until you come home.
(kur?) (gurai) "around, about, approximately"
  • (?)
  • ?
  • It will take about 10 minutes.
(fudu) (hodo)
(atai) (gurai)? as much as; upper limit.
  • ? () ()? ()
  • ?
  • That building is not as tall as you imagine it to be.
(nch?n) (sae)
(ussa) (dake)?
(uppi) (dake)?
  • ? (?) (?)? (?) (?)
  • You can sleep as much as you want.
(uhi) (dake)?
(saku) (hodo) (dake)
Binding particles ()
Okinawan Japanese Notes/English Example
? (ya) ? (wa) Topic particle for long vowels, proper nouns, or names.

For other nouns, the particle fuses with short vowels. a -> ?, i -> ?, u -> ?, e -> ?, o -> ?, n -> n?. Pronoun (wan?) (I) becomes topicalized as ? (wann) instead of ? (wann) or (wan'ya?), although the latter does appear in some musical or literary works.

(?)
(?)
(?)
(n?) ,
? (n) ? (mo) "Also"
? (yatin) (demo) "even, also in"
  • (?)? () () (?) (?)?? () ()
  • ?
  • The Great Wall of China can even be seen from space. Also in Japan, we study English.
(gan) (demo)
(nun) (demo)
(shika) (shika)
(tiramun) ? (tarumono)
(tuka)
  • (toka)
  • ? (ya)
(du)
  • ? (zo)
  • (koso)
? (ru)
  • ? (zo)
  • (koso)
Sentence-ending particles ()
Okinawan Japanese Notes/English Example
? (ga)

(yaga)

? (ka) Final interrogatory particle
? (mi) ? (ka) Final interrogatory particle
? (ni) ?
? (i) ?
(gay?) (kana)
(sani) (dar?)
(n?) ? (no) Final particle expressing
(b?) ?
(d?)
  • ? (zo)
  • ? (yo)
? (yo) ? (yo)
(f?) ?
? (na) ? (na) Prohibitive
? (e)
? (sa) ? (sa)
(demune)
(s?)
Interjectory Particles (?)
Okinawan Japanese Notes/English Example
(t?) ? (ne)?
  • ? (yo)
  • (y?)
  • ? (ne)
  • ? (yo)?
  • ? (ya)
  • (y?)
  • ? (nu)
  • ? (yo)?
(n?) ? (ne)?
(sari) (n?)?
(hy?)
Conjunctive particles (?)

Prefixes ()

Suffixes ()

Others

Copula

Okinawan Past tense Japanese
  • ? (ab?n)
  • ? (ib?n)
A (masu)
(desu)
(yaib?n)
? (d?biru) A
(degozaimasu)

Question words ()

Okinawan Japanese English
(ikuchi) (ikutsu) "How much"
(ichi) (itsu) "When"
(jiru) (dore) "Which"
(t?) ? (dare) "Who"
? (tatt?) (daredare) "Who" (plural)
(ch?) (d?) "How" (in what way)
? (chassa)
  • ? (doredake)
  • (ikura)
"How much"
  • ? (chappi)
  • (chanuatai)
? (dorehodo) "How"
(chanu)
  • (dono)
  • (donoy?na)
"What kind"
(n?) ? (nani) "What"
? (n?nchi) ? (d?shite) "Why"
(m?) (doko) "Where"

Example

Sample text in Standard Okinawan (Shuri-Naha dialect)

In Kanji

(without ruby)

(?)??()??(?)?()?()(?)??()?()?()?()?()?()?()?()(?)??(?)??()??()??()()?()??()??(?)?(within ruby)

Transliteration

Ninjin? t?n nmariyag?n? jiyu yai, mata, d? t?shichi ni umuyuru chimu tu d? mamurandiru chim? t? yatin yunu gutu sajakat?ru mun yan. Ninjin? m?tu kara ?kani nu sunawat?kutu, tag?ni ch?d?yandiru kang?s?ni kutuni atarandar? naran. (UDHR Article 1)

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Okinawan at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Central Okinawan". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ Mimizun.com 2005, Comment #658 - 45-CAC-ai comprises most of Central Okinawa, including Shuri (Naha), Ginowan and Nishihara; 45-CAC-aj comprises the southern tip of Okinawa Island, including Itoman, Mabuni and Takamine; 45-CAC-ak encompasses the region west of Okinawa Island, including the Kerama Islands, Kumejima and Aguni.
  4. ^ Lewis 2009.
  5. ^ Moseley 2010.
  6. ^ Kerr 2000, p. xvii.
  7. ^ a b Brown & Ogilvie 2008, p. 908.
  8. ^ a b Kaplan 2008, p. 130.
  9. ^ "The Language of Okinawa: A common misconception". The OkiNinjaKitty Blog. 26 May 2013. Retrieved 2019.
  10. ^ Noguchi 2001, p. 87.
  11. ^ Noguchi 2001, p. 76.
  12. ^ Hung, Eva and Judy Wakabayashi. Asian Translation Traditions. 2014. Routledge. Pg 18.
  13. ^ a b c d e f Heinrich, P., Miyara, S., & Shimoji, M. (Eds.). (2015). Handbook of the Ryukyuan Languages. Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG. Pp 598.
  14. ^ Heinrich, P. (2004). "Language Planning and Language Ideology in the Ry?ky? Islands". Language Policy, 3(2)
  15. ^ Mie, Ayako (2012-05-19). "Okinawans push to preserve unique language". The Japan Times Online.
  16. ^ "A little corner of Brazil that is forever Okinawa". BBC News. 2018-02-04.
  17. ^ Heinrich, Patrick. The Making of Monolingual Japan. 2012. Pp 85-87.
  18. ^ Nakasone, Seizen. Festschrift. 1962. Pp. 619.
  19. ^ UNESCO (2009). "Interactive atlas of the world's languages in danger".
  20. ^ Heinrich, Patrick (2005). "Language loss and revitalization in the Ryukyu Islands". The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus.
  21. ^ Noguchi & Fotos 2001, p. 81.
  22. ^ Miyara 2009, p. 179.
  23. ^ a b Curry 2004, §2.2.2.1.9.
  24. ^ Miyara 2009, p. 186.
  25. ^ a b c Noguchi 2001, p. 83.
  26. ^ a b c Kodansha 1983, p. 355.
  27. ^ OPG 2003.
  28. ^ Kerr 2000, p. 35.
  29. ^ Takara & 1994-1995, p. 2.
  30. ^ WPL 1977, p. 30.
  31. ^ Ishikawa 2002, p. 10.
  32. ^ Okinawa Style 2005, p. 138.
  33. ^ a b Tanji 2006, p. 26.

References

External links

  • ()
  • by Kiyoshi Fiza, an Okinawan language writer.

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