Classification of the Japonic languages

Altaic questionClassification of Japonic languagesClassification of the Japanese languageClassifications of the Japonic familyits relationJapaneseJapanese language classificationJapanese-Korean classification hypothesisJaponic
The classification of the Japonic languages and their external relations is unclear.wikipedia
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Japanese language

JapaneseJapanese-languageJp
The currently most supported view is that the Japonic languages (sometimes also "Japanic") are their own primary language family, consisting of Japanese, Ryukyuan and Peninsular Japonic. However, linguists agree today that typological resemblances between Japanese, Korean and Altaic languages cannot be used to prove genetic relatedness of languages, as these features are typologically connected and easily borrowed from one language to the other (e.g. due to geographical proximity with Manchuria).
It is a member of the Japonic (or Japanese-Ryukyuan) language family, and its relation to other languages, such as Korean, is debated.

Language isolate

isolateisolateslanguage isolates
Linguists traditionally consider the Japonic languages to belong to an independent family; indeed, until the classification of Ryukyuan as separate languages within a Japonic family rather than as dialects of Japanese, Japanese was considered a language isolate.

Language family

language familiesfamilyLanguage families and languages
The currently most supported view is that the Japonic languages (sometimes also "Japanic") are their own primary language family, consisting of Japanese, Ryukyuan and Peninsular Japonic.
Classifications of the Japonic family, for example, range from one language (a language isolate with dialects) to nearly twenty—until the classification of Ryukyuan as separate languages within a Japonic language family rather than dialects of Japanese, the Japanese language itself was considered a language isolate and therefore the only language in its family.

Sergei Starostin

Sergei A. StarostinStarostinSergei Anatolyevich Starostin
Linguists who advocate this position include John Whitman (1985) and Barbara E. Riley (2004), and Sergei Starostin with his lexicostatistical research, The Altaic Problem and the Origins of the Japanese Language (Moscow, 1991).
He developed the theory, originated by Abu al-Ghazi Bahadur Khan in the 17th century, but really revived by Gustaf John Ramstedt in the early 20th century, that Japanese is an Altaic language.

Altaic languages

AltaicAltaic language familyAltaic hypothesis
Independent of the question of a Japonic–Korean connection, both the Japonic languages and Korean were sometimes included in the largely discredited Altaic family. However, linguists agree today that typological resemblances between Japanese, Korean and Altaic languages cannot be used to prove genetic relatedness of languages, as these features are typologically connected and easily borrowed from one language to the other (e.g. due to geographical proximity with Manchuria).

Korean language

KoreanKorean-languageKorea
However, linguists agree today that typological resemblances between Japanese, Korean and Altaic languages cannot be used to prove genetic relatedness of languages, as these features are typologically connected and easily borrowed from one language to the other (e.g. due to geographical proximity with Manchuria).
(see Classification of the Japonic languages or Comparison of Japanese and Korean for further details on a possible relationship.)

Goguryeo numerals

The Japanese–Koguryoic proposal dates back to Shinmura Izuru's (1916) observation that the attested Goguryeo numerals—3, 5, 7, and 10—are very similar to Japanese.

Susumu Ōno

Ōno Susumu
Caldwell 1875:413) and more recently by Susumu Shiba, Akira Fujiwara, and Susumu Ōno (n.d., 2000).

Japonic languages

JaponicJaponic language familyJaponic language
Linguists traditionally consider the Japonic languages to belong to an independent family; indeed, until the classification of Ryukyuan as separate languages within a Japonic family rather than as dialects of Japanese, Japanese was considered a language isolate.

Genetic relationship (linguistics)

genetic relationshipgeneticgenetically related
Among more distant connections, the possibility of a genetic relationship to the non-Korean languages of southern Korea or languages like Austronesian and or Kra–Dai, are discussed.

Primitive Korean peninsula language

non-Korean languagesthe original language of the Korean peninsula
Among more distant connections, the possibility of a genetic relationship to the non-Korean languages of southern Korea or languages like Austronesian and or Kra–Dai, are discussed.

Austronesian languages

AustronesianAustronesian languageAustronesian language family
Among more distant connections, the possibility of a genetic relationship to the non-Korean languages of southern Korea or languages like Austronesian and or Kra–Dai, are discussed.

Ryukyuan languages

RyukyuanRyukyuan languageDialect Day
The currently most supported view is that the Japonic languages (sometimes also "Japanic") are their own primary language family, consisting of Japanese, Ryukyuan and Peninsular Japonic.

Peninsular Japonic

Japanese–Koguryoic languagesJaponic-speakersJapanese–Koguryoic language family
The currently most supported view is that the Japonic languages (sometimes also "Japanic") are their own primary language family, consisting of Japanese, Ryukyuan and Peninsular Japonic.

Hachijō language

HachijoHachijo dialectsHachijo Japanese
The Hachijō language is sometimes classificated as fourth branch of the Japonic language family but currently seen as a very divergent dialect of Eastern Japanese.

Japanese dialects

Eastern JapaneseWestern Japanesedialect
The Hachijō language is sometimes classificated as fourth branch of the Japonic language family but currently seen as a very divergent dialect of Eastern Japanese.

Urheimat

homelandlinguistic homelandancestral home
It is suggested that the linguistic homeland of Japonic is located somewhere in south-eastern or eastern China before the proto-Japanese migrated to the Korean Peninsula and the Japanese archipelago.

Northern and southern China

Southern ChinaNorthern ChinaSouth China
It is suggested that the linguistic homeland of Japonic is located somewhere in south-eastern or eastern China before the proto-Japanese migrated to the Korean Peninsula and the Japanese archipelago.

East China

eastern ChinaEasteastern
It is suggested that the linguistic homeland of Japonic is located somewhere in south-eastern or eastern China before the proto-Japanese migrated to the Korean Peninsula and the Japanese archipelago.

Korean Peninsula

KoreapeninsulaKorean
It is suggested that the linguistic homeland of Japonic is located somewhere in south-eastern or eastern China before the proto-Japanese migrated to the Korean Peninsula and the Japanese archipelago.

Japanese archipelago

Japanese home islandsHome IslandsJapanese islands
It is suggested that the linguistic homeland of Japonic is located somewhere in south-eastern or eastern China before the proto-Japanese migrated to the Korean Peninsula and the Japanese archipelago.

Beijing

Beijing, ChinaPekingPeking, China
Miyamoto suggests a homeland further north, around modern day Beijing and Liaoning.

Liaoning

Liaoning ProvinceFengtianFengtian Province
Miyamoto suggests a homeland further north, around modern day Beijing and Liaoning.

Manchuria

ManchurianThree Eastern ProvincesNortheast
However, linguists agree today that typological resemblances between Japanese, Korean and Altaic languages cannot be used to prove genetic relatedness of languages, as these features are typologically connected and easily borrowed from one language to the other (e.g. due to geographical proximity with Manchuria). Koreanic languages, then established in Manchuria expanded southward to the Korean peninsula, displacing Japonic languages that have been spoken there and causing the Yayoi migrations into Japan.