Okinawan Lessons - Uchinaaguchi-nu nareegutu

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Okinawan Lessons - Uchinaaguchi-nu nareegutu

Post by Hakaku » Fri 20 Jul 2012, 15:59

1. Uchinaaguchi Overview

1.1 About the language

Uchinaaguchi is a language spoken by less than 250,000 people (with only about 90,000 speaking it as their first tongue) residing mainly in the southern part of Okinawa Island, which is situated within the Ryukyu Island chain of Southern Japan. It also has a small population of speakers living in Hawaii, where the language is being promoted for cultural purposes.

As a result of language policies enforced in the late 19th through the mid-to-late 20th century, the native Okinawan tongue was strongly discouraged and the Tokyo dialect of Japanese was enforced as the standard language of education and business. As a result, younger speakers are no longer actively learning the language, and most fluent speakers today are over the age of 60 years old.

Despite this, Uchinaaguchi remains the most widely spoken Ryukyuan language today, and the most well-known outside of Japan. Linguistically, the language is fairly similar to Japanese and so those with knowledge of Japanese will have a greater advantage picking up the language.

Image
(Map source: BBC)

1.2 Sounds and Spelling

Phonemes are presented between slashes and written with IPA, and their corresponding orthographic representations are presented between angled brackets. The spelling system is remnant of the Hepburn Romanization system for Japanese, and features a few modifications based on the popular Okinawan-English Wordbook. (For a fancier representation of the following, see the corresponding Wikipedia article for details.)

Vowels:
/a i u e o/ <a i u e o>

Long vowels are doubled in writing: <aa ii uu ee oo>.

Consonants:

Nasals: /m n N/ <m n *>
Plosives: /p b t d kʷ gʷ k g ʔ/ <p b t d kw gw k g **>
Affricates: /t͡ɕ d͡ʑ/ <ch j>
Fricatives: /ɸ s h/ <f s h>
Other: /ɾ j w/ <r y w>

* Note that the sound /N/ represents a full moraic nasal and will assimilate to the place of articulation of the following sound. It will here be written <m> when followed by a labial consonant within the same word, and <n> everywhere else.

** All vowels are predictably glottalized at the beginning of words in Okinawan. So <uchinaaguchi> is actually pronounced [ʔu.t͡ɕi.naa.gu.t͡ɕi]. However, the glottal mark does contrast before the moraic nasal and the approximants /w/ and /j/. In these cases, it'll be distinctively marked with the letter <q>.

When vowels are not glottalized, they tend to glide, so such cases will here be uniformly marked with a glide: <yii>, <wu>, etc.

1.3 Allophony

The moraic /N/ mentioned earlier is pronounced [m] before a labial consonant, [n] before an alveolar one, and [N] everywhere else.

As with Japanese, the vowel /i/ will palatalize any preceding /s/ into [ɕ]: <si> [ɕi].

The vowel /e/ has two realizations possible: [e] and [je]. The sound [je] tends to palatalize any preceding /s/ into [ɕ]. When the sound [je] can be predicted in word-initial position, it will be marked as <ye>, but elsewhere it will be uniformly written <e> since the pronunciation varies depending on the speaker and dialect.

The sounds /d/ and /ɾ/ are in the process of merging. The first tends to reduce to the flap in medial position, while the second tends to become [d] in word-initial position.

/ɸ/ and /h/ contrast before the vowel /a/, and seem to be in allophonic variation before /i/ and /e/. Before /u/, only /ɸ/ is possible. And before /o/, only /h/ is possible.

1.4 Historical changes and differences with Japanese

I'm going to go over this fairly quickly, but note the following changes (in order, as much as possible):

Long vowels coalesce:
/au/, /ao/ > /oo/
/ai/, /ae/ > /ee/
/ei/ > /ii/

Yotsugana merge:
/tu/ > /ti/ > /t͡ɕi/
/su/ > /si/ [ɕi]
/zu/ > /zi/ > /d͡ʑi/
/du/ > /di/ > /d͡ʑi/

T and K palatalize to CH, and D and G palatalize to J:
/ti/, /ki/ > /t͡ɕi/
/di/, /gi/ > /d͡ʑi/
/t(i)j/, /k(i)j/ > /t͡ɕ/
/d(i)j/, /g(i)j/ > /d͡ʑ/

Moraic:
The sequences /nu/, /ni/, /mu/ and /mi/ reduce to the moraic /N/.

Short mid vowels are raised:
/e/ > /i/
/o/ > /u/

Note: /ke/ becomes /ki/ [ki], and /te/ becomes /ti/ [ti] (not /t͡ɕi)
/ge/ becomes /gi/ [gi], and /de/ becomes /di/ [di] (not /d͡ʑi)
/re/ becomes /ri/ (not /i/)
/no/ becomes /nu/ (not /N/)

However: /se/ becomes /si/ [ɕi] (no difference)

Other changes:
/awa/ > /aa/
/ri/ > /i/ (some exceptions exist, e.g. the sequence /iɾi/)
/z/ > /d͡ʑ/

Short vowels in monomoraic/monosyllabic words lengthen:
/CV/ > /CVV/

Historically palatalized sequences with /j/ will depalatalize:
/s(i)j/ > /s/
/z(i)j/ > /d͡ʑ/
/m(i)j/ > /n/

All word-initial vowels predictably glottalize:
/V..../ > [ʔV....] (arguably /ʔ...../)

Preglottalization of word-initial vowels also led to the following changes:
/uwV/ > /ʔwV/
/unV/ > /ʔNnV/
/umV/ > /ʔNmV/
/ijV/ > /ʔjV/

(Other changes and differences do exist, but since they're less predictable or dependent on certain factors, you can ignore them here. Some examples include sporadic vowel lengthening of the first syllable of a disyllabic word, retention of the historical sound /ɸ/ in some words but not others, different vowel coalescence rules for topicalization, differences based on different historical forms, etc.)

1.5 Got that? Examples!

Here are some example vocabulary to demonstrate the previous changes:

/okinawa/ "Okinawa"
> /ot͡ɕinawa/ (palatalization)
> /ot͡ɕinaa/ (intervocalic -w- dropping)
> /ut͡ɕinaa/ (mid vowel raising)
= [ʔut͡ɕinaa] (word-initial vowel glottalization)

/tori/ "bird"
> /turi/ (mid vowel raising)
> /tui/ (ri to i reduction)
= [tui]

/mune/ "chest"
> /Nne/ (mu to N)
> /Nni/ (mid vowel raising)
= [n̩ni]

/ame/ "rain"
> /ami/ (mid vowel raising)
= [ʔami] (word-initial vowel glottalization)

*/s(i)jori/ "Shuri (the capital of Okinawa)"
> /sjuri/ (mid vowel raising)
> /sjui/ (ri to i)
> /sui/ (depalatalization)
= [sui]

*/ijo/ "fish"
> /iju/ (mid vowel raising)
> [ʔiju] (preglottalization)
> /ʔju/ (glottalized vowel assimilated into glide)
> /ʔjuu/ (monomoraic word vowel lengthening)
= [ʔjuu]

Homework!

Care to try a few guesses? See if you can derive the following:
*/kaminari/ "thunder"
*/inu/ "dog"
*/sekai/ "world"
*/kjoodai/ "sibling"
*/sjomotu/ "books"
*/su/ "nest"
*/ti/ "blood"
*/seNsei/ "teacher"
*/uma/ "horse"

Next lesson: basic vocabulary and expressions...
Edit: Provided some clarifications.
Last edited by Hakaku on Thu 21 Feb 2013, 03:11, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Okinawan Lessons - Uchinaaguchi nu nareegutu

Post by Thakowsaizmu » Fri 20 Jul 2012, 18:07

*/kaminari/ "thunder" > [kaNnai]
*/inu/ "dog" [i.N]
*/sekai/ "world" [s\ikee]
*/kjoodai/ "sibling" [ts\oo4ee]
*/sjomotu/ "books" [s\omoti]
*/su/ "nest" [s\i]
*/ti/ "blood" [ts\i]
*/seNsei/ "teacher" [s\iNs\ee]
*/uma/ "horse" [N.ma]
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Re: Okinawan Lessons - Uchinaaguchi nu nareegutu

Post by Ear of the Sphinx » Fri 20 Jul 2012, 20:50

Wouldn't /sjomotu/ become /sumut_s\i/?

Also, are there any istances of short /e o/?
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Re: Okinawan Lessons - Uchinaaguchi nu nareegutu

Post by Solarius » Fri 20 Jul 2012, 21:30

Spoiler:
kaNai or kaNmari
?iN
sikee
t_s\odee
sjumut_s\i
si
t_s/i
siNsii
?uma
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Re: Okinawan Lessons - Uchinaaguchi nu nareegutu

Post by Hakaku » Mon 23 Jul 2012, 14:58

@Thakowsaizmu
Spoiler:
*/kaminari/ "thunder" > [kaNnai] [tick]
*/inu/ "dog" [i.N] [info] /i.N/ is arguably correct, but not [i.N]
*/sekai/ "world" [s\ikee] [tick]
*/kjoodai/ "sibling" [ts\oo4ee] [tick] (I would have also accepted [ts\oodee])
*/sjomotu/ "books" [s\omoti] [cross]
*/su/ "nest" [s\i] [info] Close, but it's missing vowel lengthening (monomoraic)
*/ti/ "blood" [ts\i] [info] Same as the above
*/seNsei/ "teacher" [s\iNs\ee] [cross] [ei] does not become [ee]
*/uma/ "horse" [N.ma] [cross] You and Solarius have half the answer, see Other Changes > Preglottalization
@Solarius
Spoiler:
kaNai or kaNmari [cross] Neither
?iN [tick]
sikee [tick]
t_s\odee [info] First syllable is missing vowel length
sjumut_s\i [cross] See Other Changes > Depalatalization
si [info] Missing vowel lengthening (monomoraic)
t_s/i [info] Missing vowel lengthening (monomoraic)
siNsii [tick]
?uma [cross] You and Thakowsaizmu have half the answer, see Other Changes > Preglottalization
Just to clarify since it may have not been apparent, but words that are monomoraic (i.e. that contain only one mora, which is sort of like a syllable) exhibit vowel lengthening: /CV/ > /CVV/.

@Milyamd
Spoiler:
Wouldn't /sjomotu/ become /sumut_s\i/? [tick] /sumut_s\i/ would be correct [:)]
Milyamd wrote:Also, are there any istances of short /e o/?
Due to historical mid-vowel raising, they're rare, but they do occur in a small set of native vocabulary and borrowings. The one example that comes to mind is /meNsoo4ee/ mensooree, an Okinawan expression for welcoming people (similar to Japanese irasshaimase). An example of a stable borrowing would be /?ame4ika/ "America/United States" (/?ame4ikaa/ "American [person]"). I don't have any examples of short /o/ off-hand though.

It's possible that there's a rule restricting /e/ and /o/ to heavy syllables in native vocabulary considering the following examples from Northern Okinawan as well (specifically, the Nakijin dialect):
/na.gaa.seN/ "long" (-sen = Nakijin adjective ending)
/toN.t_s\u/ "Chinese (people)" [source (pdf)]

Edit: Another example is the native word /habe4u/ haberu "butterfly", though it has the variant /haabee4uu/ haabeeruu, which reveals the shift towards a heavy syllable.
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Re: Okinawan Lessons - Uchinaaguchi nu nareegutu

Post by Hakaku » Tue 24 Jul 2012, 17:26

2. Uchinaaguchi Vocabulary and Expressions

Previous lesson: Lesson 1: An Overview of the Okinawan language.

2.1 Sentence Structure and Word Classes

Like Japanese, Okinawan possesses SOV word order, is morphologically agglutinative and features nominative-accusative alignment. Unlike Japanese, however, the accusative (i.e. the object of a sentence) is always left unmarked.

Five main word classes can be established for the language:

- Nouns (which includes pronouns and most suffixes)
- Particles (a catch-all group that includes mainly clitics, postpositions and some suffixes)
- Adjectives
- Adverbs
- Verbs

I'll be going over these in detail in future lessons, but for today, the focus lies mainly in learning vocabulary and expressions. This will allow for a smoother transition towards basic sentence building.

2.2 Greetings (Yeesachi)

Greeting someone in Okinawan can vary in pronunciation depending on whether you're male or female. As a general rule, any expression or phrase with -sai is used by males, and any that end with its morphological counterpart -tai is used by females. All other expressions are unisex.

The following is a small list of common expressions used in Okinawan for greeting, meeting, parting, eating and drinking. For a list of further expressions, you may want to check out the list provided at Omniglot, though I cannot verify their accuracy.

Hello

Haisai! (m) / Haitai! (f) "Hello!"

Chuu wuganabira! or Chuuganabira! "Hello!", "Good day!" (formal)

Chaabirasai! (m) / Chaabiratai! (f) "Hello!", "May I come in?", "Sorry for the intrusion" (A greeting used when entering a room with someone in it)

Hajimiti wuganabira! "Hello, nice to meet you!" (Used when meeting someone for the first time)

Yutashiku unigee sabira "Pleased to meet you" (Said after introductions)

Ukimisoochii "Good morning!"

Asking how someone is doing

Ganjuu yami seemi? (informal) / Uganjuu yami seemi? (formal) "Have you been well?"

Response: (W)uu, ganjuu sooibiin. "Yes, I've been well"
Response: Wuu-wu-wuu, ganjuu sooibiran. "No, I haven't been well"

*Note: Wuu-wu-wuu is pronounced as one long and continuous "wu" with the intonation starting off high, falling, and rising again. It can also be pronounced more informally with the moraic /N/: Nn-n-nn.

Goodbye

Guburii sabira "Goodbye", "Please excuse me"

Nji chaabira "See you later", "I'll be back in a bit"

Nama-kara nji chaabira "I'm off now, see you later!"

Yukuimisooree "Good night" (When going to bed)

When eating or drinking

Kwatchii sabira! "Let's eat", "Dig in!" (Said before a meal)

Kwatchii sabitan! "I'm done", "Thank you for the meal" (Said after a meal)

Karii! / Karii sabira! "Cheers!" (Literally "happiness; auspiciousness; good fortune")

Majun numa yaa "Let's grab a drink together", "How about a drink?"

*Cultural note: Okinawans are really big on beer (especially Orion beer) where the mainland Japanese favour sake (known locally as saki). What is called saki in Okinawan is also ambiguous: it may refer to either an alcoholic beverage made from rice that is the result of distillation (like Awamori) or of brewing (like Japanese sake). Another famous drink is kuusu, which is essentially Awamori aged for three years.

2.3 Vocabulary

As you may have noticed from the expressions above, their forms and shape differ greatly from those of Japanese. Nonetheless, there are some similarities due to the relationship between the two cultures. For instance, speakers of both languages make use of defined expressions before and after eating a meal, and both languages have similar expressions for when someone is leaving and coming back. For the latter, it may not be transparent, but nji chaabira is formed from the verbs "to go" and "to return", exactly like Japanese itte kimasu.

But while the semantics may be similar in some aspects, and while the phonology of Okinawan is (for the most part) fairly predictable once you memorize the rules listed in Lesson 1, Okinawan tends to be fairly different with regards to morphology, vocabulary, word choice, and its retention of native vocabulary where Japanese makes strong use of vocabulary derived from Chinese.

2.4 Vocabulary: Family and People

Family and People

Wikiga "man"
Winagu "woman"

Chinee "household', "family"
Yaa ninju "family (members)"

Parents and children

Uya "parent(s)"
Ammaa or Ayaa "mom", "mother" (also okkaa, loaned from Japanese)
Taarii or Suu "dad", "father" (also otoo or toochan, loaned from Japanese)

Tuji or Yumi "wife", "bride"
Wutu "husband"

Warabi "child"
Warabinchaa "children"

Brothers and Sisters

Neenee "older sister" (familiar, endearing)
Niinii "older brother" (familiar, endearing)
Yatchii "older brother" (familiar)

Abaa or Qmmii "older sister" (can also refer to an unmarried woman)
Afii, Appu or Appii "older brother" (if multiple brothers, the middle one)

Shiija "older sibling", "elder"
Winagu shiija or Shiija wunai "older sister" (formal; can also be said of a close, older female peer)
Wikiga shiija or Shiija wikii "older brother" (formal; can also be said of a close, older male peer)

Uttu "younger sibling", "younger brother", "younger sister"
Winagu uttu or Uttu wunai "younger sister"
Wikiga uttu or Uttu wikii "younger brother"

Wunai wikii "brother and sister"
Choodee "siblings"

Elderly people

Shiija-kata "the elderly"
Haamee, Qnnmee or Paapaa "grandmother", "old woman", "elderly woman" (also Obaa, loaned from Japanese)
Tanmee or Usumee "grandfather", "old man", "elderly man" (also Ojii, loaned from Japanese)

2.5 Vocabulary: Pronouns

First-person pronouns

Wan "I; me"
Wattaa "we; us"

Second-person pronouns

Nan "you"
Qyaa "you"
Unju "you" (formal)
Ittaa "you (plural)"

Third-person pronouns

(Referring to someone nearby or familiar to both the speaker and listener)
Kuri "he; she; they", "this guy", "this person"
Kuma "he; she; they" (formal)
Kunu hyaa "that guy; that person" (abasing or derogatory)
Kuttaa "they (plural)"

(Referring to someone close to the listener or known well by the listener)
Uri "he; she; they"
Qmma "he; she; they" (formal)
Unu hyaa "that guy; that person" (abasing or derogatory)
Uttaa "they (plural)"

(Referring to someone that is not nearby, far away, or not around)
Ari "he; she; they", "that guy", "that person"
Ama "he; she; they" (formal)
Anu hyaa "that guy; that person" (abasing or derogatory)
Attaa "they (plural)"

Homework!

Please label your homework as #2 and use spoiler tags if possible. Today's homework will be a simple quiz:

1. True or false: In expressions, the ending -tai is used by females while the ending -sai is used by males.
2. True or false: Ignoring morphology, the Okinawan expression nji chaabira is cognate to Japanese itte kimasu.
3. What is the visible difference between the form of expression "let's eat!" and that of "I'm done (eating)"?
4. In the pronouns, what purpose does -ttaa serve?
5. Wan-nu ammaa means "my mother": how would I say "your father"?
6. Winagu uttu means "younger sister": what do winagu and uttu mean individually?
7. How do I say a basic "hello" in Okinawan?

Next lesson: forming basic sentences...
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Re: Okinawan Lessons - Uchinaaguchi nu nareegutu

Post by Hakaku » Wed 25 Jul 2012, 16:48

3. Uchinaaguchi Basic Sentences

Previous lessons:
Lesson 1: An Overview of the Okinawan language
Lesson 2: Vocabulary and Expressions in Okinawan


3.1 Recap

Phonology

Of all the sound changes that make Okinawan different from Japanese, try to memorize the following three:

1. Historically:
----/ki/ and /ti/ palatalized to /t_s\i/
----/gi/ and /di/ palatalized to /d_z\i/

2. The yotsugana syllables:
----/su/ became /si/
----/tu/ [t_su] became /t_s\i/
----/zu/ became /d_z\i/
----/du/ [d_zu] became /d_z\i/

3. The short mid vowels raise:
----/o/ became /u/
----/e/ became /i/

Expressions

Both haisai and haitai mean "hello", but the first is used by men, while the second is used by women.

Vocabulary

All nouns in Okinawan are invariable in terms of plurality. The word wikiga could therefore mean either "man" or "men". The exception to this is that words relating to people, most notably pronouns, can take on an explicit plural marker. For most pronouns it simply consists of tagging the ending -ttaa directly onto the root.

3.2 Forming a basic sentence: Verbs

Okinawan is a language with Subject-Object-Verb (SOV) word order, or more accurately Topic-Object-Verb order (TOV). We already have enough vocabulary to fill in the gaps for the subject and the object positions, so now all we need is a to learn a few verbs to get on our way. Note that verbs do not conjugate according for the person or the plurality of the subject or object. So, for example, the form of the verb yan "to be" remains the same regardless of whether I say "is", "am" or "are" in English.

Yan (informal) / Yaibiin (formal) "(to) be"

An (informal) / Aibiin (formal) "there is", "to have" (used for inanimate things, i.e. things without movement)

Wun (informal) / Wuibiin (formal) "there is", "to have" (used for animate things, i.e. things with movement)

*Note: Older texts might give the formal forms as yayabiin, ayabiin and wuyabiin. This -ya- has already long been reduced to -i- in pretty much all dialects of Okinawan.

3.3 Using verbs without a topic

The topic is the central element of an utterance and generally overlaps what would be called the subject in English. In Okinawan, the topic is frequently ommitted and the meaning is left up to the context, so multiple translations are possible.

Tui yan. "(This) is a bird", "(It) is a bird", "(I) am a bird"

Wikiga yaibiin. "(He) is a man", "(I) am a man"

Ammaa yaibiin. "(This) is (my) mother", "(She) is a mother", "(It) is mom"


Tui wun. "There is a bird", "There are birds"

Mayaa wuibiin. "There is a cat", "There are cats"

Warabinchaa wuibiin. "There are children"


Chaa an. "There is tea", "(I) have tea"

Sumuchi aibiin. "There are books", "(I) have books"

Shii aibiin. "There is a nest", "(I) have a nest"

3.4 Using verbs: marking the subject

The last six sentence examples are slightly ungrammatical or informal because they're missing a particle: the subject particle. Okinawan differs from Japanese in that it makes use of two distinctive subject particles: -nu and -ga. The distinction between the two is that -nu is perceived as being generally more formal or polite, while -ga is slightly more informal or familiar, so it'll occur most commonly with the first person (note: wan "I" irregularly becomes waa-ga). In case of doubt, always use -nu.

Tui-nu wun. "There is a bird" (etc.)

Mayaa-nu wuibiin. "There is a cat"

Chaa-nu an. "There is tea"

Shii-nu aibiin. "There is a nest"

etc.

3.5 Using verbs: marking the topic

Remember that the topic is the central point to which everything else in the utterance comes back to, and so it often corresponds to what would normally be referred to as the subject in English. In Okinawan, the topic is marked by the particle -ya.

Mayaa-ya in yaibiin. "The cat (top) is a dog"

Ammaa-ya shinshii yaibiin. "(My) mother (top) is a teacher"

Simple right? It's just like "wa" in Japanese!

Wrong. Though the sentences above are correct, the topic particle behaves slightly differently in Okinawan. The topic particle will remain -ya if the last syllable of the unit contains a long vowel or a sequence of vowels. If the last syllable contains a short vowel or nasal, the topic particle fuses according to the following general rules:

/a/ > /aa/
/i/ > /ee/
/u/ > /oo/
/e/ > /ee/
/o/ > /oo/
/N/ > /noo/

Some exceptions pertaining to the moraic nasal /N/ exist. Most notably, the first-person pronoun wan topicalizes as wannee.

3.6 Examples using the topic particle

Wannee tui yan. "I (top) am a bird"

Wattaa-ya wikiga yaibiin. "We (top) are men."

Unjoo ammaa yaibiin. "You (top) are (my) mom."


Wannee mayaa-nu wuibiin. "I (top) have a cat (subj)"

Wannee sumuchi-nu aibiin. "I (top) have books (subj)"

Homework!

Please label your homework as #3 and use spoiler tags if possible. Today's homework comes in two parts. You'll find some of the vocabulary in Lesson 2.

Translate the following into English:

1. Winagu yan. / Winagu yaibiin.
2. Winagoo ammaa yaibiin.
3. Niinii-nu wun.
4. Niinii-ya tui yan.

Translate the following into Okinawan:

5. I am a child. (informal)
6. The man is a father. (formal)
7. There are children. (informal)
8. I have an older sister. (formal)

And if you want to be daring, build a few random sentences and provide me with your translation.

Next lesson: moving on with verbs...
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Re: Okinawan Lessons - Uchinaaguchi nu nareegutu

Post by Hakaku » Fri 03 Aug 2012, 15:50

4. Uchinaaguchi Writing and Verbs

Previous lessons:
Lesson 1: An Overview of the Okinawan language
Lesson 2: Vocabulary and Expressions in Okinawan
Lesson 3: Basic Sentences in Okinawan


4.1 Notes on Particles and Writing

So far only the subject (-ga/-nu) and the topic (-ya) particles have been tackled. Remember that the topic particle will coalesce with a preceding short vowel or nasal. And for this reason, writing Okinawan using the Japanese writing system is difficult, because there's no way to appropriately signal topicalization.

Consider the following example of the word "dog":
:jpn:inu > 犬は inu wa
:ryu:in > inoo

Japanese is pretty simplistic because the sound doesn't change and can easily be separated from the noun. This isn't the case for Okinawan. Trying to mark Okinawan topicalization using the Japanese writing system reveals a few options: 犬のー, 犬おー, 犬ぉー, etc. The problem with the first and the second is that のー and おー could be interpreted as being separate words, and おー further has the problem that it might signal glottalization since it uses a full vowel character.

These issues considered, 犬ぉー should be the most appropriate orthography. However, this type of orthography poses a problem if we consider other examples like 雨 ami "rain": if I topicalize it as 雨ぇー, I might be suggesting the pronunciation is amyee rather than amee. The second issue comes when mixing this in with Hiragana: if on one line I write 犬ぉー, do I write いんぉー with hiragana on the next for conformity, or いのー? What happens with words like しーぐ shiigu "(small) knife", where writing しーぐぉー implies shiigwoo?

This is why no standard has yet been formalized regarding native Okinawan orthography. My personal preference is to separate the last syllable from the Kanji, as in 犬のー inoo or 雨めー amee, since it harmonizes better with Hiragana writing. To avoid ambiguity, I further recommend using a comma symbol (、) right after whatever is topicalized. Writing solely in Hiragana or Katakana is opening another can of worms, because the native Japanese system doesn't separate words, making it extremely difficult to read and segment, especially for learners. Thus, for these lessons, I will only be using the romanization presented in Lesson 1 for convenience and accessibility.

4.2 Continuing with Verbs

As you may have noticed, verbs in Okinawan are similar, but slightly different from their Japanese counterparts. Consider the following:

Code: Select all

Japanese        Okinawan        Meaning

suru            sun             to do
aru             an              to have/there is
kuru            chuun           to come
iku             ichun           to go
nomu            nunun/numun     to drink
yomu            yunun/yumun     to read
kaku            kachun          to write/draw
furu            fuin            to precipitate
arau            arain           to wash
mau             mooin           to dance
naru            nain            to become
The first thing to note is that all Okinawan verbs end in -n where Japanese has -(r)u. The ending -n in Okinawan is the predicative form of the verb, and so it cannot be used attributively like in Japanese. In other words, while you could say yomu hito "a person that reads" in Japanese, *yumun (t)chu is not possible in Okinawan. Instead, you have to replace the ending -n with the attributive form -ru in Okinawan: yumun > yumuru.

Why the difference with Japanese?

Here's where knowledge of Okinawan sound changes comes in handy, especially those of palatalization and depalatalization. Historically, verbs in Okinawan were formed from the infinitive -i form, followed by the auxiliary verb oru, whose ending was replaced with with -n in the predicative position.

In other words:

kachun "write" historically derives from kaki + oru + n, which became kaki + un, kakyun and ultimately kachun.

nain "become" : nari + oru + n > nai + un > nayun > nain

yunun "read" : yomi + oru + n > yumi + un > yumyun > yunun (the form yumun is used in regions outside of the capital, and by conflation with the standard Japanese form)

sun "do" (irregular) : shi + oru + n > shi + un > shun > sun

chuun "come" (irregular) : ki + oru + n > ki + un > chi + un > chuun

Historical note: For verbs that bear the ending -ru in Japanese, you may see in some documents the corresponding Okinawan forms nayun "become", arayun "wash" and fuyun "precipitate". Such forms are generally older and more common in literary works. Pretty much all dialects of Okinawan now reduce -yu- to -i-.


Next lesson: a few more particles and verbs....
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Re: Okinawan Lessons - Uchinaaguchi-nu nareegutu

Post by Hakaku » Sun 26 Aug 2012, 14:58

5. Uchinaaguchi Particles

Previous lessons:
Lesson 1: An Overview of the Okinawan language
Lesson 2: Vocabulary and Expressions in Okinawan
Lesson 3: Basic Sentences in Okinawan
Lesson 4: Writing System and Okinawan Verbs


5.1 Some more particles: Object, Genetive-Possessive, and the "also" particles

Postpositions and object marking

All particles in Okinawan are postpositional, so they follow the word or phrase they modify. Like Japanese, Okinawan noticeably makes use of the topic marker, but unlike Japanese, it has no object marker. A sentence like "I read books" would therefore be expressed as:

wannee sumuchi yumun
wannee sumuchi yumu-n
1.TOP books read-PRED

Genitive and possessive forms

Previously, I also mentioned the subject particles -ga and -nu, whose usage varies based on a somewhat complex hierarchy of politeness which I will not go in detail. Just remember that -ga is generally less polite/formal than -nu and therefore often co-occurs with people and notably the first person (irregularly waa-ga). These two particles also serve to mark the genitive or possessive form:

wan-nu sumuchi yumun
waa-ga sumuchi yumun
1-GEN books read-PRED
"(I) read my books"

If you're confused about which to use, you can't go wrong with -nu in either case. However, it's worth pointing out that Okinawan possesses a third genitive marker: the zero marker (Ø). This basically consists of straightforward compounding without any particle:

waa mun yan
1 thing is-PRED
"(it) is my thing" / "(it) is mine"

Zero marking most commonly occurs with pronouns and certain kinship terms, and only when the relationship between the two things is clear and unambiguous.

Conveying the meaning of "also; too"

The last particle I will introduce is the "also" particle: -n. Once again, the first-person pronoun is irregular in that it becomes wannin "I also".

wannin sumuchi yumun
1-also books read-PRED
"I also read books"

mayaan chaa numun
cat-also tea drink-PRED
"(The) cat also drinks tea"

For words that end in a moraic nasal /N/ already, the historically dropped vowel will reappear between the two:

in "dog" > inun "(the) dog also"
(compare this to :jpn: Japanese inu "dog" and inu mo "(the) dog also")

waa-ga inun chaa numun
1-GEN dog-also tea drink-PRED
"My dog also drinks tea"

For words whose historical vowel may not be clear or may have not existed, assume the vowel /u/.

Homework!

Please label your homework as #5 and use spoiler tags if possible. Today's homework comes in two parts. You'll find some of the vocabulary in Lesson 2.

Translate the following into English:

1. waa-ga mayaa
2. wannee tuin aibiin
3. tui-nu shii-nu aibiin

Translate the following into Okinawan:

4. The man's wife
5. My father
6. My father's wife also has a bird.

Next lesson: advancing with verb conjugations...
Last edited by Hakaku on Fri 22 Feb 2013, 04:54, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Okinawan Lessons - Uchinaaguchi-nu nareegutu

Post by Valosken » Tue 28 Aug 2012, 11:04

This X-SAMPA hurts.
First, I learned English.
Dann lernte ich Deutsch.
Y ahora aprendo Español.
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Re: Okinawan Lessons - Uchinaaguchi-nu nareegutu

Post by Hakaku » Thu 21 Feb 2013, 03:13

Valosken wrote:This X-SAMPA hurts.
I had used it because I wrote my initial posts with a computer that couldn't display IPA, and Chrome has some issues displaying it on this board. That said, I've now updated the original post to use IPA.
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Re: Okinawan Lessons - Uchinaaguchi-nu nareegutu

Post by Hakaku » Thu 21 Feb 2013, 05:18

6. Okinawan Verbs and Stems

Previous lessons:
Lesson 1: An Overview of the Okinawan language
Lesson 2: Vocabulary and Expressions in Okinawan
Lesson 3: Basic Sentences in Okinawan
Lesson 4: Writing System and Okinawan Verbs
Lesson 5: Uchinaaguchi Particles


6.1 Quick recap

General: Particles: 6.2 Understanding verbs

In Lesson 4, I briefly exposed the differences between verbs in standard Japanese and in Okinawan, as well as the sound changes and morphological changes underlying these differences. Following the rules mentioned, you should be able to figure out what most verbs look like in Okinawan if you know their Japanese counterparts.

6.3 Verb types and stems

As with Japanese, Okinawan has different types of verbs whose stems change depending on the underlying sound. Here's a basic chart of predicative and attributive verb forms in Okinawan:

Code: Select all

|Stem | Predicative | Attributive |
|-----|-------------|-------------|
|  u* |  -in (yun)  | -iru (yuru) |
|  k  |  -chun      | -churu      |
|  g  |  -jun       | -juru       |
|  s  |  -sun       | -suru       |
|  t  |  -chun      | -churu      |
|  d  |  -jun       | -juru       |
|  n  |  -nun       | -nuru       |
|  b  |  -bun       | -buru       |
|  m  |  -nun/mun   | -nuru/muru  |
|  r  |  -in (yun)  | -iru (yuru) |
|_____|_____________|_____________|
Note: Unlike Japanese, Okinawan does have some verbs that end with the stem -d, such as にんじゅん ninjun "to sleep" (cognate with Japanese neru). Such verbs arise when a verb stemming in -ru is preceded by a moraic nasal (n).

If you look at the chart above, you'll notice overlap between different verb stems as a result of conflating sound changes. But, while they appear similar in the predicative and attributive forms, they differ in other forms like the negative form, which does not rely on the historical merge with the auxiliary oru (see Lesson 4 for details).

Code: Select all

|Stem | Negative    |
|-----|-------------|
|  u* |  -aan       |
|  k  |  -kan       |
|  g  |  -gan       |
|  s  |  -san       |
|  t  |  -tan       |
|  d  |  -dan       |
|  n  |  -nan       |
|  b  |  -ban       |
|  m  |  -man       |
|  r  |  -ran       |
|_____|_____________|
Second note: What's here marked as an -u verb represents a very limited class of verbs. Most corresponding -u verbs in Japanese seem to have merged into -r (-ru) verbs in Okinawan.

6.4 Exceptions and irregularities

If you're wondering whether there are exceptions, then the answer is yes, Okinawan has quite a number of irregularities. Unfortunately, most of the irregularities cannot be predicted phonologically, and have to be memorized. A few of the most common offending verbs include the following:

Code: Select all

| Meaning | Predicative | Attributive | Negative |
|---------|-------------|-------------|----------|
|  do     |  sun        | suru        | san      |
|  go     |  ichun      | ichuru      | ikan     |
|  come   |  chuun      | chuuru      | kuun     |
|  see    |  nnjun      | nnjuru      | ndan     |
|  say    |  qyun       | qyuru       | qyan     |
|  be     |  yan        | yaru        | aran     |
|_________|_____________|_____________|__________|
The table above does not present the full verb paradigm, so while some verbs may seem regular, they are not entirely. For example, the past attributive form of the verb "to go" becomes qndaru, whereas *icharu would be the expected reflex if it were a regular -k verb. But we'll save this for another lesson.

Homework!

If you wish to practice for your own purposes, you can try giving the attributive and negative forms for the following verbs (verb types are presented in parentheses):
  • kachun (k) — "write"
  • nunun (m) — drink
  • kamun (m) — eat
  • fuin (r) — precipitate
  • tubun (b) — fly
  • hanasun (s) — talk
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Re: Okinawan Lessons - Uchinaaguchi-nu nareegutu

Post by kanejam » Fri 14 Jun 2013, 11:33

Hi! There doesn't seem to be a lot of interest in this thread anymore but I just found it and it is definitely very cool!
Spoiler:
kachun - kachuru - kakan
nunun - numuru - numan
kamun - kamuru - kaman
fuin - fuiru - furan
tubun - tuburu - tuban
hanasun - hanasuru - hanusan
Hope this is correct [:)]

Edit: Also, I read the title as Oklahoman, and was expecting a Native American language, or at least a guide of how to talk like someone from Grapes of Wrath.
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Re: Okinawan Lessons - Uchinaaguchi-nu nareegutu

Post by plathhs » Sat 15 Jun 2013, 00:14

Great initiative! Maybe now I could finally take my primitive Uchinaaguchi somewhere.
I hope you make more lessons sometime.
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Re: Okinawan Lessons - Uchinaaguchi-nu nareegutu

Post by Hakaku » Mon 17 Jun 2013, 02:28

kanejam wrote:Hi! There doesn't seem to be a lot of interest in this thread anymore but I just found it and it is definitely very cool!
Spoiler:
kachun - kachuru - kakan [tick]
nunun - numuru - numan [tick]
kamun - kamuru - kaman [tick]
fuin - fuiru - furan [tick]
tubun - tuburu - tuban [tick]
hanasun - hanasuru - hanusan [info] hanasan (I assume it's just a typo)
Hope this is correct [:)]
Glad to see there's still some interest (even if it isn't a Native American language)! All of your answers were essentially correct, though you made one typo :)
plathhs wrote:Great initiative! Maybe now I could finally take my primitive Uchinaaguchi somewhere.
I hope you make more lessons sometime.
I'll still make more lessons, though they may be more spread apart since I'm working on so many different projects. Feel free to take a shot at some of the homework if you want, I still check in on this forum.
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Re: Okinawan Lessons - Uchinaaguchi-nu nareegutu

Post by kanejam » Mon 17 Jun 2013, 06:16

Yes it was a typo [:)] I wasn't too sure about the n/m alteration in nunun so I'm glad I got it right. I will await the next lesson with great anticipation!
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Re: Okinawan Lessons - Uchinaaguchi-nu nareegutu

Post by Ithisa » Sun 07 Jul 2013, 02:43

I'm curious; is there any particular reason for the large amount of irregular verbs in Uchinaaguchi? The regular verbs also seem rather semi-fusional, seeing that one must memorize the verb-stem consonant. I would expect more irregularity in the mainland where dialects often mix; however, Modern Japanese's verbs seem to be a nice tree of regularity, with suffixes such as える/られる just recursively forming new verbs, and ない recursively forming a (verby) adjective. Uchinaaguchi's history of forming things with おる seems to be supposed to cause massive regularization to my intuition, but apparently something else happened.

Also, it seems as if Uchinaaguchi is rather innovative in its sound system (Modern Japanese only had a few consonant changes (all extremely regular and simply conditioned) and one vowel shift from Old Japanese) but rather conservative in grammar (such as preserving attributive forms). Is this shared by other Japonic langs in the area?
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