An Introduction to the Japonic Languages

Grammatical Sketches of Japanese Dialects and Ryukyuan Languages


Volume Editor:
Japanese is definitely one of the best-known languages in typological literature. For example, typologists often assume that Japanese is a nominative-accusative language. However, it is often overlooked that Japanese, or more precisely, Tokyo Japanese, is just one of various local varieties of the Japonic language family (Japanese and Ryukyuan). In fact, the Japonic languages exhibit a surprising typological diversity. For example, some varieties display a split-intransitive as opposed to nominative-accusative system. The present volume is thus a unique attempt to explore the typological diversity of Japonic by providing a collection of grammatical sketches of various local varieties, four from Japanese dialects and five from Ryukyuan. Each grammatical sketch follows the same descriptive format, addressing a wide range of typological topics.
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Michinori Shimoji is Associate Professor of Linguistics at Kyushu University, Japan. He received his Ph.D. in Linguistics from the Australian National University in 2009. His dissertation was published under the title A Grammar of Irabu, a Southern Ryukyuan Language (Kyushu University Press, 2017). His major research interest concerns the description of Japonic languages and typological studies based on the Japonic data. He is co-editor of the Handbook of the Ryukyuan Languages (De Gruyter Mouton, 2015).

List of Figures and Tables

1 The Japonic Languages: an Introduction
Michinori Shimoji

2 Tokunoshima (Kagoshima, Northern Ryukyuan)
Kanji Kato

3 Iheya (Okinawa, Northern Ryukyuan)
Salvatore Carlino

4 Kin (Okinawa, Northern Ryukyuan)
Koji Tamamoto

5 Aragusuku (Okinawa, Southern Ryukyuan)
Wang Danning

6 Shiraho (Okinawa, Southern Ryukyuan)
Yuko Urabe

7 Nambu (Aomori, Eastern Japanese)
Natsuko Nakagawa

8 Izumo (Shimane, Western Japanese)
Tatsuya Hirako

9 Yanagawa (Fukuoka, Kyūshū Japanese)
Aoi Matsuoka

10 Shiiba (Miyazaki, Kyūshū Japanese)
Michinori Shimoji and Naoyuki Hirosawa

Post-graduate students of Linguistics, Japanese, Ryukyuan studies; linguists who may or may not be familiar with Japanese linguistics.
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