Old Japanese

archaic JapaneseHistorical Japanese phonologykogoojpOld Japanese adjectivesOld Japanese: Adjectivesthe ancient Japanese language
Old Japanese is the oldest attested stage of the Japanese language.wikipedia
158 Related Articles

Japanese language

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

Early Middle Japanese

Early Middle Japanese: Phonological developmentspremodern
It evolved into Early Middle Japanese in the succeeding Heian period, although the precise separation of these two languages is controversial.
It is the successor to Old Japanese.

Man'yōgana

man'yoganaman'youganamanyōgana
Old Japanese was written using Chinese characters, using an increasingly standardized and phonetic form that eventually evolved into man'yōgana.
For example, 木 (whose character means 'tree') could be read as (based on Middle Chinese ), or or (meaning 'tree' in Old Japanese).

Kojiki

ancient Japanese mythKojiki-denKōjiki
This is the period of the earliest connected texts in Japanese, the 112 songs included in the Kojiki (712).
This special use of Chinese characters is called Man'yōgana, a knowledge of which is critical to understanding these songs, which are written in Old Japanese.

Suda Hachiman Shrine Mirror

Mirror with Design of Human Figures
The oldest surviving native inscriptions, dating from the 5th or early 6th centuries, include those on the Suda Hachiman Shrine Mirror, the Inariyama Sword and the Eta Funayama Sword.
It is an important artifact for the research in Japanese archaeology and Old Japanese language.

Ryukyuan languages

RyukyuanRyukyuan languageIsland Language Day
Additional evidence has been drawn from phonological typology, subsequent developments in the Japanese pronunciation, and comparative study of the Ryukyuan languages.
Ryukyuan also preserves a special verbal inflection for clauses with focus markers—this unusual feature was also found in Old Japanese, but lost in Modern Japanese.

Sino-Japanese vocabulary

Sino-JapanesekangoSino-Japanese word
One difficulty is that the Middle Chinese pronunciations of the characters used are also disputed, and since their reconstruction is partly based on Sino-Japanese pronunciations, there is a danger of circular reasoning.
1) Most Sino-Japanese words were borrowed in the 5th - 9th centuries AD, from Early Middle Chinese into Old Japanese. Both languages have changed significantly since then, and in different ways. This has resulted in the respective pronunciations becoming more and more divergent over time.

Hideyo Arisaka

In 1934, Arisaka Hideyo proposed a set of phonological restrictions permitted in a single morpheme.
He specialized in Historical Japanese phonology and Historical Chinese phonology, making important contribution to the studies of Jōdai Tokushu Kanazukai and Middle Chinese.

Japanese dialects

dialectdialectsJapanese
Although modern Japanese dialects have pitch accent systems, these are usually not shown in man'yōgana.
Regional variants of Japanese have been confirmed since the Old Japanese era.

Vowel harmony

harmonizeharmonysynharmonism
Some scholars have interpreted this as a vestige of earlier vowel harmony, but it is very different from patterns observed in e.g. the Turkic languages.
Japanese language - in some of the Kansai dialects. Additionally, some consider that vowel harmony must have existed at one time in Old Japanese, though there is no broad consensus. See the pertinent.

Yaeyama language

Yaeyamarys[6]
Southern Ryukyuan varieties such as Miyako, Yaeyama and Yonaguni retain and in these words:
Old Japanese had eight vowels (some perhaps diphthongs); this has been reduced to five in modern Japanese, but in Yaeyaman, vowel reduction has progressed further, to three vowels.

Grammatical particle

particleparticlesgrammatical particles
As in later forms of Japanese, Old Japanese word order was predominantly subject–object–verb, with adjectives and adverbs preceding the nouns and verbs they modify, and auxiliary verbs and particles consistently appended to the main verb.
These particles may function as endings and therefore as bound morphemes rather than independent words, in particular in Old Japanese.

Classical Japanese language

classical JapaneseBungoclassical
Classical Japanese language
This is because these sounds (as well as all sounds still written with は/ハ, ひ/ヒ, ふ/フ, へ/ヘ, and ほ/ホ) originally had initial consonant in Old Japanese, which then changed to in Early Middle Japanese, and then, in Late Middle Japanese, split one of five different phonemes depending on whether it occurred morpheme-initially or morpheme-medially, and then further depending on the following vowel.

Hachijō language

HachijoHachijo JapaneseHachijō
This form was used as the main verb concluding a declarative sentence. It was also used before modal extensions, final particles and some conjunctional particles. The conclusive form merged with the attributive form by about 1600, but the distinction is preserved in Ryukyuan languages and the Hachijōjima dialects.
There are also lexical similarities with the dialects of Kyushu and even the Ryukyuan languages; it is not clear if these indicate the southern Izu islands were settled from that region, if they are loans brought by sailors traveling among the southern islands, or if they might be independent retentions of Old Japanese.

Nara period

NaraNara-periodJapan
It is attested in documents from the Nara period (8th century). Old Japanese is usually defined as the language of the Nara period (710–794), when the capital was Heijō-kyō (present-day Nara).

Heian period

Japan (Heian period)HeianHeian-period
It evolved into Early Middle Japanese in the succeeding Heian period, although the precise separation of these two languages is controversial.

Japonic languages

JaponicJaponic language familyJaponic family
Old Japanese was an early member of the Japonic family; no conclusive links to other language families have been demonstrated.

Chinese characters

ChineseChinese:characters
Old Japanese was written using Chinese characters, using an increasingly standardized and phonetic form that eventually evolved into man'yōgana.

Agglutinative language

agglutinativeagglutinatingagglutinating language
Typically for a Japonic language and for a step in the evolutionary line of modern Japanese, Old Japanese was a primarily agglutinative language with subject–object–verb word ordering.

Subject–object–verb

SOVsubject-object-verbverb-final
As in later forms of Japanese, Old Japanese word order was predominantly subject–object–verb, with adjectives and adverbs preceding the nouns and verbs they modify, and auxiliary verbs and particles consistently appended to the main verb. Typically for a Japonic language and for a step in the evolutionary line of modern Japanese, Old Japanese was a primarily agglutinative language with subject–object–verb word ordering.

Heijō-kyō

HeijōHeijō capitalHeijō-kyō (平城京)
Old Japanese is usually defined as the language of the Nara period (710–794), when the capital was Heijō-kyō (present-day Nara).

Nara, Nara

NaraNara CityNara, Japan
Old Japanese is usually defined as the language of the Nara period (710–794), when the capital was Heijō-kyō (present-day Nara).

Nihon Shoki

Nihongieight emperors without specific legends associated with them
The other major literary sources of the period are the 128 songs included in the Nihon Shoki (720) and the Man'yōshū (c. 759), a compilation of over 4,500 poems.

Man'yōshū

Man'yōMan-yō-shū poemsManyō City
The other major literary sources of the period are the 128 songs included in the Nihon Shoki (720) and the Man'yōshū (c. 759), a compilation of over 4,500 poems.

Fudoki

ancient recordsHarima-no-kuni FudokiHitachi no Kuni Fudoki
Shorter samples are 25 poems in the Fudoki (720) and the 21 poems of the Bussokuseki-kahi (c. 752).