Japanese language

JapaneseJapanese-languageJpJapanese:Japanese wordjalanguageJapanStandard JapaneseJpn
Japanese is an East Asian language spoken by about 128 million people, primarily in Japan, where it is the national language.wikipedia
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Japonic languages

JaponicJaponic language familyJaponic family
It is a member of the Japonic (or Japanese-Ryukyuan) language family, and its relation to other languages, such as Korean, is debated.
The Japonic or Japanese-Ryukyuan language family includes the Japanese language spoken on the main islands of Japan as well as the Ryukyuan languages spoken in the Ryukyu Islands.

Classification of the Japonic languages

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

Old Japanese

archaic JapaneseHistorical Japanese phonologykogo
During the Heian period (794–1185), Chinese had considerable influence on the vocabulary and phonology of Old Japanese.
Old Japanese is the oldest attested stage of the Japanese language.

Late Middle Japanese

OnbinMiddle JapaneseLate Middle Japanese adjectives
Late Middle Japanese (1185–1600) included changes in features that brought it closer to the modern language, and the first appearance of European loanwords.
Late Middle Japanese is a stage of the Japanese language following Early Middle Japanese and preceding Early Modern Japanese.

Gairaigo

loanwordforeign loan wordsloanwords
Late Middle Japanese (1185–1600) included changes in features that brought it closer to the modern language, and the first appearance of European loanwords.
Gairaigo is Japanese for "loan word" or "borrowed word", and indicates a transliteration (or "transvocalization") into Japanese.

Early Modern Japanese

The standard dialect moved from the Kansai region to the Edo (modern Tokyo) region in the Early Modern Japanese period (early 17th century–mid-19th century).
Early Modern Japanese is a stage of the Japanese language following Middle Japanese and preceding Modern Japanese.

Korean language

KoreanKorean-languageKorea
It is a member of the Japonic (or Japanese-Ryukyuan) language family, and its relation to other languages, such as Korean, is debated.
A relation of Korean (together with its extinct relatives which form the Koreanic family) with Japanese (along with its extinct relatives which form the Japonic family), has been proposed by linguists such as William George Aston and Samuel Martin.

Heian period

Japan (Heian period)HeianHeian-period
During the Heian period (794–1185), Chinese had considerable influence on the vocabulary and phonology of Old Japanese.
Heian means "peace" in Japanese.

Wasei-eigo

Japanese-Englishwasei eigoJapanese English
English loanwords, in particular, have become frequent, and Japanese words from English roots have proliferated.
Wasei-eigo are Japanese-language expressions based on English words or parts of word combinations, that do not exist in standard English or whose meanings differ from the words from which they were derived.

Japanese pitch accent

pitch accentJapaneseKeihan type
Japanese is an agglutinative, mora-timed language with simple phonotactics, a pure vowel system, phonemic vowel and consonant length, and a lexically significant pitch-accent.
Japanese pitch accent is the pitch accent in the Japanese language, which distinguishes words in most Japanese dialects.

Honorific speech in Japanese

keigohonorifichonorifics
Japanese has a complex system of honorifics with verb forms and vocabulary to indicate the relative status of the speaker, the listener, and persons mentioned.
The Japanese language has many honorifics, referred to as keigo (敬語, literally "respectful language"), parts of speech that show respect.

Agglutinative language

agglutinativeagglutinatingagglutinating language
Japanese is an agglutinative, mora-timed language with simple phonotactics, a pure vowel system, phonemic vowel and consonant length, and a lexically significant pitch-accent.
For example, Japanese is generally agglutinative, but displays fusion in otōto, from oto+hito (originally woto+pito), and in its non-affixing verb conjugations.

Gemination

geminategeminatedgeminate consonant
Japanese is an agglutinative, mora-timed language with simple phonotactics, a pure vowel system, phonemic vowel and consonant length, and a lexically significant pitch-accent.
Consonant length is distinctive in some languages, like Arabic, Berber, Maltese, Catalan, Danish, Estonian, Finnish, Classical Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Malayalam, Marathi, Tamil and Telugu.

Ainu language

AinuSakhalin Ainuain
Japanese has been grouped with language families such as Ainu, Austroasiatic, and the now-discredited Altaic, but none of these proposals has gained widespread acceptance. A common ancestor of Japanese and Ryukyuan languages or dialects is thought to have been brought to Japan by settlers coming from either continental Asia or nearby Pacific islands sometime in the early- to mid-2nd century BC (the Yayoi period), replacing the languages of the original Jōmon inhabitants, including the ancestor of the modern Ainu language.
Ainu (Ainu: アイヌ・イタㇰ Aynu=itak; Japanese: アイヌ語 Ainu-go) is a language spoken by members of the Ainu ethnic group on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido.

Jōmon period

JōmonJōmon-periodJōmon people
A common ancestor of Japanese and Ryukyuan languages or dialects is thought to have been brought to Japan by settlers coming from either continental Asia or nearby Pacific islands sometime in the early- to mid-2nd century BC (the Yayoi period), replacing the languages of the original Jōmon inhabitants, including the ancestor of the modern Ainu language.
The name "cord-marked" was first applied by the American scholar Edward S. Morse, who discovered sherds of pottery in 1877 and subsequently translated it into Japanese as jōmon.

Chinese language

ChineseRegional dialectChinese:
During the Heian period (794–1185), Chinese had considerable influence on the vocabulary and phonology of Old Japanese. Japanese has no genetic relationship with Chinese, but it makes extensive use of Chinese characters, or kanji, in its writing system, and a large portion of its vocabulary is borrowed from Chinese.
Chinese words with these pronunciations were also extensively imported into the Korean, Japanese and Vietnamese languages, and today comprise over half of their vocabularies.

Early Middle Japanese

Early Middle Japanese: Phonological developmentspremodern
Texts written with Man'yōgana use two different kanji for each of the syllables now pronounced き ki, ひ hi, み mi, け ke, へ he, め me, こ ko, そ so, と to, の no, も mo, よ yo and ろ ro. (The Kojiki has 88, but all later texts have 87. The distinction between mo 1 and mo 2 apparently was lost immediately following its composition.) This set of syllables shrank to 67 in Early Middle Japanese, though some were added through Chinese influence.
Early Middle Japanese is a stage of the Japanese language used between 794 and 1185, a time known as the Heian Period.

Hiragana

charactersJapanese hiragana
The vowel system would have to have shrunk some time between these texts and the invention of the kana (hiragana and katakana) in the early 9th century.
Hiragana is a Japanese syllabary, one component of the Japanese writing system, along with katakana, kanji, and in some cases rōmaji (Latin script).

Chinese characters

ChineseChinese:characters
Japanese has no genetic relationship with Chinese, but it makes extensive use of Chinese characters, or kanji, in its writing system, and a large portion of its vocabulary is borrowed from Chinese.
In other languages, most significantly today in Japanese and sometimes in Korean, characters are used to represent Chinese loanwords, to represent native words independently of the Chinese pronunciation (e.g., kunyomi in Japanese), and as purely phonetic elements based on their pronunciation in the historical variety of Chinese from which they were acquired.

Phonotactics

phonotacticphonotacticalphonotactically
Japanese is an agglutinative, mora-timed language with simple phonotactics, a pure vowel system, phonemic vowel and consonant length, and a lexically significant pitch-accent.
For example, in Japanese, consonant clusters like do not occur.

Kanbun

Kanbun KundokuClassical Chinesekambun
The earliest texts found in Japan are written in Classical Chinese, but they may have been meant to be read as Japanese by the kanbun method.
As a result, Sino-Japanese vocabulary makes up a large portion of the Japanese lexicon, and much classical Chinese literature is accessible to Japanese readers in some semblance of the original.

Mora (linguistics)

moramoraemoras
Japanese is an agglutinative, mora-timed language with simple phonotactics, a pure vowel system, phonemic vowel and consonant length, and a lexically significant pitch-accent.
3) In some languages (for example, Latin and Japanese), the coda represents one mora, and in others (for example, Irish) it does not. In English, the codas of stressed syllables represent a mora (thus, the word cat is bimoraic), but for unstressed syllables it is not clear whether this is true (the second syllable of the word rabbit might be monomoraic).

Subject–object–verb

SOVsubject-object-verbverb-final
Word order is normally subject–object–verb with particles marking the grammatical function of words, and sentence structure is topic–comment.
Languages that have SOV structure include Ainu, Akkadian, Amharic, Armenian, Assamese, Assyrian, Aymara, Azerbaijani, Basque, Bengali, Burmese, Burushaski, Cherokee, Dakota, Dogon languages, Elamite, Ancient Greek, Gujarati, Hajong, Hindi, Hittite, Hopi, Ijoid languages, Itelmen, Japanese, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Korean, Kurdish, Classical Latin, Lakota, Manchu, Mande languages, Marathi, Mongolian, Navajo, Nepali, Newari, Nivkh, Nobiin, Pāli, Pashto, Persian, Punjabi, Quechua, Senufo languages, Seri, Sicilian, Sindhi, Sinhalese, Sunuwar and most other Indo-Iranian languages, Somali and virtually all other Cushitic languages, Sumerian, Tibetan and nearly all other Tibeto-Burman languages, Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu and all other Dravidian languages, Tigrinya, Turkic languages, Turkish, Urdu, almost all Uto-Aztecan languages, Uzbek, Yukaghir, and virtually all Caucasian languages.

Vowel length

shortlonglong vowel
Japanese is an agglutinative, mora-timed language with simple phonotactics, a pure vowel system, phonemic vowel and consonant length, and a lexically significant pitch-accent.
Many languages make a phonemic distinction between long and short vowels: Arabic, Sanskrit, Japanese, Biblical Hebrew, Scottish Gaelic, Finnish, Hungarian, Kannada, etc.

Japanese numerals

JapaneseJapanJapanese numeral
Latin script is used in a limited fashion, such as for imported acronyms, and the numeral system uses mostly Arabic numerals alongside traditional Chinese numerals.
The system of Japanese numerals is the system of number names used in the Japanese language.