Omoro Sōshi (1531–1623) is an indispensable resource for historical linguistic comparison of Old Okinawan with other Ryukyuan languages and Old Japanese. Leon A Serafim and Rumiko Shinzato offer a reference grammar, including detailed phonological analyses, of the otherwise opaque and dense poetic/religious language of the
Meshing Western linguistic insight with existing literary/linguistic work in Ryukyuan studies, and incorporating their own research on Modern Okinawan, the authors offer a grammar and phonology of the Omoro language, with selected (excerpts of) songs grammatically analyzed, phonologically reconstructed, translated, and annotated.
Leon A Serafim, Ph.D. (1984), Yale, was Associate Professor of Japanese at the University of Hawai‘i. He has published articles on Japonic (Ryukyuan and Japanese) (pre)history, and helped edit the Okinawan-English Wordbook and J/K 19. His current interests are, especially, grammaticalization and historical syntax.
Rumiko Shinzato, Ph.D. (1984), University of Hawai‘i, is Professor at Georgia Institute of Technology. She has published chapters/articles on aspect, evidentiality, subjectivity, grammaticalization and language maintenance. She and Leon A Serafim co-authored a book on Okinawan
kakari musubi (Brill 2013).
Preface List of Figures and Tables Abbreviations and Conventions
What is the Omoro Sōshi? 2
Types of omoro 3
Song Structure 5
Overview of the Omoro Language
Spelling System and Phonology 1
Reconstruction Methodology 3
Meter in Omoros 7
The Question of External Evidence and Its Relation to That Presented Here 8
PJ Origin 2
Loans from MJ 3
Loans from Sino-Japanese 4
Loans from Korean 5
Origins Unknown 6
Mishōgo (MO, Meanings Obscure)
Students of Japanese/Ryukyuan languages, linguistics, and literature, or interested in studying the
Omoro Sōshi and Old Okinawan from the standpoint of history, religion, or culture; research libraries catering to them.