Classification of the Japonic languages

JapaneseAltaic questionclassification of JaponicClassifications of the Japonic familyits relationJapanese-Korean classification hypothesisJaponicJaponic migration from Korea hypothesismay be a relative of the Austronesian family
The classification of the Japonic languages (Japanese and the Ryukyuan languages) is unclear.wikipedia
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Japanese language

JapaneseJapanese-languageJp
The classification of the Japonic languages (Japanese and the Ryukyuan languages) is unclear.
It is a member of the Japonic (or Japanese-Ryukyuan) language family, and its relation to other languages, such as Korean, is debated.

Altaic languages

AltaicAltaic language familyAltaic family
Independent of the question of a Japonic–Korean connection, both the Japonic languages and Korean were sometimes included in the largely discredited Altaic family.
In the "Ural–Altaic" nomenclature, Finno-Ugric and Samoyedic are "Uralic", whereas Turkic, Mongolic, and Tungusic are "Altaic", as are Korean and Japanese if they are included at all.

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.

Korean language

KoreanKorean-languageKorea
Goguryeo itself may be related to Korean, and a Japonic–Korean grouping is widely considered plausible.
(See Classification of the Japonic languages for further details on a possible relationship.)

Sergei Starostin

S. StarostinSergei A. StarostinStarostin
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.

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.
* Classification of the Japonic languages

Austronesian languages

AustronesianAustronesian languageAustronesian language family
So, the creole theory suggests that the Japanese language is an early mix of Austronesian languages/Ainu languages and Dravido-Korean.
Several linguists have proposed that Japanese may be a relative of the Austronesian family.

Comparison of Japanese and Korean

Comparison of Japanese and Korean
Due to the lack of a sufficient reconstruction of Proto-Japonic and Proto-Korean, any relation between the languages that may have existed may never be conclusively proven (see: Japonic migration from Korea hypothesis and Gaya language).

Susumu Ōno

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

Joseph Greenberg

GreenbergGreenberg, Joseph H.Greenberg, Joseph Harold
Joseph Greenberg (2000–2002) argued for the inclusion of Japanese in his proposed Eurasiatic language family.
It differs by including Nivkh, Japonic, Korean, and Ainu (which the Nostraticists had excluded from comparison because they are single languages rather than language families) and in excluding Afroasiatic.

Japonic languages

JaponicJaponic language familyJaponic family
The classification of the Japonic languages (Japanese and the Ryukyuan languages) is unclear.

Ryukyuan languages

RyukyuanRyukyuan languageIsland Language Day
The classification of the Japonic languages (Japanese and the Ryukyuan languages) is unclear.

Genetic relationship (linguistics)

genetic relationshipgeneticgenetically related
Among more distant connections, the possibility of a genetic relationship to the Goguryeo (Koguryŏ) languages, or perhaps to Kara (Gaya), has the most currency.

Goguryeo language

GoguryeoKoguryolanguage of Goguryeo
Among more distant connections, the possibility of a genetic relationship to the Goguryeo (Koguryŏ) languages, or perhaps to Kara (Gaya), has the most currency.

Gaya language

GayaKara (Gaya)Pre-Kara
Among more distant connections, the possibility of a genetic relationship to the Goguryeo (Koguryŏ) languages, or perhaps to Kara (Gaya), has the most currency.

Automated Similarity Judgment Program

A 2015 analysis using the Automated Similarity Judgment Program resulted in the Japonic languages being grouped with the Ainu and then with the Austroasiatic languages.

Language contact

contact languagecontactcontact linguistics
However, as languages spoken by populations who have inhabited neighboring territories, it is plausible that similarities between Ainu and Japonic may also be due to past language contact.

Loanword

loanwordsloan wordborrowed
Analytic grammatical constructions acquired or transformed in Ainu were likely due to contact with Japanese and the Japonic languages, which had heavy influence on the Ainu languages with a large number of loanwords borrowed into the Ainu languages, and to a smaller extent, vice versa.

Takeshi Umehara

Because of a great amount of similar vocabulary, phonology, similar grammar, and geographical and cultural connections, he and Takeshi Umehara suggested that Japanese was closely related to the Ainu languages, and was influenced by other languages, especially Chinese and Korean.

Manchuria

ManchurianThree Eastern ProvincesNortheast
In ancient times, Koreanic languages, then established in southern Manchuria and northern Korean peninsula, are alleged to have expanded southward to central and southern parts of the Korean peninsula, possibly displacing Japonic languages that may have been spoken there and causing the Yayoi migrations.

Korean Peninsula

KoreapeninsulaKorean
In ancient times, Koreanic languages, then established in southern Manchuria and northern Korean peninsula, are alleged to have expanded southward to central and southern parts of the Korean peninsula, possibly displacing Japonic languages that may have been spoken there and causing the Yayoi migrations.

Yayoi period

YayoiYayoi-periodJapan around the time of
In ancient times, Koreanic languages, then established in southern Manchuria and northern Korean peninsula, are alleged to have expanded southward to central and southern parts of the Korean peninsula, possibly displacing Japonic languages that may have been spoken there and causing the Yayoi migrations.

Liaoning bronze dagger culture

Bronze AgeKorean Bronze AgeLiaoning
There is disagreement over the protohistorical or historical period during which this expansion occurs, ranging from the Korean Bronze Age period to the Three Kingdoms of Korea period.

Three Kingdoms of Korea

Three KingdomsThree Kingdoms periodKorea
There is disagreement over the protohistorical or historical period during which this expansion occurs, ranging from the Korean Bronze Age period to the Three Kingdoms of Korea period.

Mumun pottery period

MumunMumun PeriodNeolithic age
John Whitman and Miyamoto Kazuo believe Japonic speakers migrated from Manchuria to Korea and lasted there until Mumun pottery period in the Korean peninsula.