Trang nhà > Khoa học > Ngữ học > The Altaic language group

The Altaic language group

Thứ Năm 21, Tháng Sáu 2007

The Mongols, Koreans, and Japanese speak languages that belongs to the Altaic language group?

There is speculation whether the Japanese Language should be categorized as part of the Altaic language family:

Japanese vocabulary seems to contain many elements of Malayo-Polynesian or Austronesian (a proto-language for which we have no records). Research began in this area with the important paper by Matsumoto Nobuhiro in 1928 on "Le Japonais et les langues austro-asiatiques" and following this the work of Otto Dempwolff (1934-38) and lzui Hisanosuke (1952). Murayama (1974) pointed out the large number of similarities between the morphology of Japanese and Oceanic languages and in a seminal study (1975) succeeded in explaining the etymologies of the entire Japanese numeral system (1-1,000) by means of Proto-Austronesian morphemes.

Kawamoto Takao (1985) is currently the leading proponent of the Austronesian connection. Based upon fieldwork in the Pacific, Kawamoto (1976) reconstructed the proto-system of all the Japanese verb combinations based on the incomplete reconstructions of Susumu Ono (1953) and indicated the following shared features: presence of phonemic accent, tendency to disyllabism and canonical morphemic shapes in Old Japanese and Proto-Austronesian, syllables closed with special phonemes only, vowel harmony, agglutination, SVO and adjective-noun order, question forms made by adding a particle to a statement, derivation by vowel mutation, vocalization or nasalization, plurality expressed by affixation and reduplication and other shared features.

In the vocabulary stock, particularly those items dealing with marine life, many convincing comparisons have been made suggesting lexical contact between Japanese (J) and proto-Austronesian (PAN): J ika `cuttlefish` and PAN ikan `fish`; J hana `flower` and PAN buna `flower`. Additionally, many of the so-called `vulgarisms` of the Fudoki texts have been linked with Austronesian, in particular: OJ (Old Japanese) isa `whale` from PAN i`ti ; OJ fisi `sandbar` from PAN pat`iy.