Okinawan Writing System
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Okinawan Writing System
This article describes the modern Okinawan writing system. See the Okinawan language article for an overview of the language. For the writing systems in Ryukyuan languages in general, see the Ryukyuan languages article.
An example of traditional Okinawan writing circa 1471

Okinawan language, spoken in Okinawa Island, was once the official language of the Ryukyu Kingdom. At the time, documents were written in kanji and hiragana, derived from Japan.

Nowadays, most Japanese, as well as most Okinawans, tend to think of Okinawan as merely a dialect of Standard Japanese, even though the language is not mutually intelligible to Japanese speakers.[1] As a "dialect", modern Okinawan is not written frequently. When it is, the Japanese writing system is generally used in an ad hoc manner. There is no standard orthography for the modern language. Nonetheless, there are a few systems used by scholars and laypeople alike. None of them are widely used by native speakers, but represent the language with less ambiguity than the ad hoc conventions. The Roman alphabet in some form or another is used in some publications, especially those of an academic nature.

Systems

Conventional usages

The modern conventional ad hoc spellings found in Okinawa.

Council system

The system devised by the Council for the Dissemination of Okinawan Dialect (). [1]

University of the Ryukyus system

The system devised by Okinawa Center of Language Study, a section of University of the Ryukyus. Unlike others, this method is intended purely as a phonetic guidance, basically uses katakana only. For the sake of an easier comparison, corresponding hiragana are used in this article.

New Okinawan letters

(Shin Okinawa-moji), devised by Yoshiaki Funazu (?, Funazu Yoshiaki), in his textbook Utsukushii Okinawa no H?gen (; "The beautiful Okinawan Dialect"; ISBN 4-905784-19-0). The rule applies to hiragana only. Katakana is used as in Japanese; just like in the conventional usage of Okinawan.

Basic syllables and kai-y?on (palatalized syllables)

i u e o ya yu yo
(Initial) 1 [i]
[ji]
[u]
[wu]
[e]
[je]
[o]
[wo]
[ja] [ju] [jo]
(Elsewhere) (Not used) 2
Conventional ? ?
?
?
?
? ? ?
Council ?
Ryukyu Univ. ? ?
New Okinawan Okinawan kana u.png
' 'a
a
'i
i
'u
u
'e
e
'o
o
'ya 'yu 'yo
(Initial) 1 [?a] [?i] [?u] [?e] [?o] [?ja] [?ju] [?jo]
(Elsewhere) [a] [i]
[ji]
[u]
[wu]
[e]
[je]
[o]
[wo]
Conventional ? ? ? ?
?
? ? ?
Council ? ?
Ryukyu Univ.
New Okinawan ? Okinawan kana 'ya.png Okinawan kana 'yu.png Okinawan kana 'yo.png
k ka ki ku ke ko kya
[ka] [ki] [ku] [ke] [ko] [kja]
? ? ? ? ?
g ga gi gu ge go gya
[?a] [?i] [?u] [?e] [?o] [?ja]
? ? ? ? ?
s sa shi
si
su she
se
so sha
sya
shu
syu
[sa] [?i] [su] [?e] [so] [?a] [?u]
Others ? ? ? ?
Ryukyu Univ. ?

?
z za zi zu ze zo
[dza] [dzi]
[d?i]
[dzu] [dze] [dzo]
Others ? ? ? ? ?
Ryukyu Univ. ?
?
j ja ji ju je jo
[d?a] [d?i] [d?u] [d?e] [d?o]
Others ?
Ryukyu Univ.
?
?



t ta ti tu te to
[ta] [ti] [tu] [te] [to]
Others ? ? ?
New Okinawan Okinawan kana ti.png Okinawan kana tu.png
d da di du de do
[da] [di] [du] [de] [do]
Others ? ? ?
New Okinawan Okinawan kana di.png Okinawan kana du.png
ch
c
cha
ca
chi
ci
chu
cu
che
ce
cho
co
[t?a] [t?i] [t?u] [t?e] [t?o]
?
ts tsi tsu
[tsi]
[t?i]
[tsu]
Ryukyu Univ. ?
n na ni nu ne no nya nyu
[na] [?i] [nu] [ne] [no] [?a] [?u]
? ? ? ? ?
h ha hi fu
hu
he ho hya hyu hyo
[ha] [çi] [?u] [çe] [ho] [ça] [çu] [ço]
? ? ? ? ?
b ba bi bu be bo bya byu byo
[ba] [bi] [bu] [be] [bo] [bja] [bju] [bjo]
? ? ? ? ?
p pa pi pu pe po pya pyu
[pa] [pi] [pu] [pe] [po] [pja] [pju]
? ? ? ? ?
m ma mi mu me mo mya myu myo
[ma] [mi] [mu] [me] [mo] [mja] [mju] [mjo]
? ? ? ? ?
r ra ri ru re ro
[?a] [?i] [?u] [?e] [?o]
? ? ? ? ?
1: At the beginning of a word.
2: University of the Ryukyus system is an exception, always using ?, , ?, ? (?, , ?, ?) for [i], [u], [e], [o], and ?, ?, , ? (?, ?, , ?) for [?i], [?u], [?e], [?o], respectively.

G?-y?on (labialised syllables)

wa wi we
[?a] [?i] [?e]
Conventional ?
Council
Ryukyu Univ. ?
New Okinawan ?
' 'wa 'wi 'we
[a] [i] [e]
Conventional ?
Council
Ryukyu Univ.
New Okinawan Okinawan kana 'wa.png Okinawan kana 'wi.png Okinawan kana 'we.png
k kwa
qua
kwi
qui
kwe
que
[k?a] [k?i] [k?e]
Conventional
Council
Ryukyu Univ.
New Okinawan Okinawan kana kwa.png Okinawan kana kwi.png Okinawan kana kwe.png
g gwa gwi gwe
[a] [i] [e]
Conventional
Council
Ryukyu Univ.
New Okinawan Okinawan kana gwa.png Okinawan kana gwi.png Okinawan kana gwe.png
h fa
hwa
fi
hwi
fe
hwe
[?a] [?i] [?e]
Conventional
Council
Ryukyu Univ.
New Okinawan Okinawan kana hwa.png Okinawan kana hwi.png Okinawan kana hwe.png

Others

n 3 4 5
? ? ?
' 'n
Conventional ?
Council
Ryukyu Univ.
New Okinawan Okinawan kana 'n.png
3: Hatsuon (moraic n)
4: Sokuon (geminated consonants)
5: Ch?on (longer vowels): In conventional usages, longer vowels are sometimes spelled like in mainland Japanese as well; "ou" () for ?, doubled kana for others. (e.g. for ?.)

References


  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

Okinawan_writing_system
 



 



 
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