Home > Catalogue > Annali di Ca’ Foscari. Serie orientale > 52 | 2016 > Conservative and Innovative Features in the Phonology of Hateruma Dialect

Conservative and Innovative Features in the Phonology of Hateruma Dialect

Giuseppe Pappalardo    Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia, Italia    



The Hateruma dialect belongs to Yaeyama Ryukyuan and is spoken on the Hateruma island as well as in the Shiraho village of Ishigaki island. The aim of this paper is to describe and analyse the phonetic and phonological characteristics of the Hateruma dialect, in order to point out all the uncommon features, most of which are unique within both Ryukyuan and mainland varieties, and their implication in the reconstruction of proto-Japanese. Beside several innovative forms, like the pharyngealized vowel, sonorant devoicing and noun-final consonant epenthesis, the Hateruma dialect is conservative in preserving certain distinctions which reflect better than any other Ryukyuan variety the distinction of /otsu series of Old Japanese and the corresponding reconstructed forms of proto-Japanese. A comparative analysis between cognates of the Hateruma dialect and Old Japanese shows how innovative sound changes may have contributed to preserve the distinction between syllables which have merged elsewhere.

June 30, 2016
Nov. 7, 2015
March 11, 2015

Keywords: Phonetic and phonological changeOld Japanese Kō-rui and otsu-rui syllablesProto-JapaneseThe Hateruma dialectYaeyama Ryukyuan

Copyright: © 2016 Giuseppe Pappalardo. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.