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Uchinaaguchi (Okinawan) Lessons

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Uchinaaguchi (Okinawan) Lessons

Postby Pauro on 2008-10-28, 22:49

Phonological correspondence between ʔUcinaaguci (Okinawan language) and Jamatuguci (standard Japanese)

There are 3 short vowels in ʔUcinaaguci:
a corresponds to the Japanese a
i corresponds either to the Japanese i or e
u corresponds either to the Japanese u or o

Examples:
sake --> さき saki 'alcohol'
kokoro --> くくる kukuru 'heart'

General correspondence within consonants:
ki --> ci
eg. kaki --> かち kaci 'fence'
gi --> zi
eg. kugi --> くじ kuzi 'nail'
ri --> i
eg. ari --> あい ai 'ant'
hi --> fi
eg. hidari --> ふぃじゃい fizai 'left'
(regarded as a traditional pronunciation; nowadays hi is more commonly heard)
se --> si
eg. ase --> あし ʔasi 'sweat'
ze --> zi
eg. kaze --> かじ kazi 'wind'
su --> si
eg. suna --> しな sina 'sand'
zu --> ji
eg. mizu --> みじ mizi 'water'
tsu --> ci
eg. tsuki --> ちち cici 'moon'

Exceptions:
nokogiri --> ぬくじり nukuziri 'saw'
migi --> にじり niziri 'right'

1-syllable and 1-mora Japanese words appear as 1-syllable 2-mora words in ʔUcinaaguci:
te --> てぃー tii 'hand'
ha --> はー haa 'tooth'

Japanese diphtongs ae and ai yield long ee in ʔUcinaaguci:
hae --> へー hee (or ふぇー fee) 'a fly'
kyoodai --> ちょーでー coodee 'brothers'

Japanese syllable wa preceded by the vowel a becomes long aa in ʔUcinaaguci:
Okinawa --> うちなー ʔUcinaa

Long Japanese oo in the words of the Chinese origin is left unchanged in ʔUcinaaguci:
ningyoo --> にんじょー niNzoo 'doll'
but:
kinoo --> ちぬー cinuu 'yesterday'
too --> とぅー tuu 'ten'

Final syllables ni, nu and no in Japanese can be shortened into N in ʔUcinaaguci:
inu --> いん ʔiN 'dog'
mono --> むん muN 'thing'

Initial syllables mi and mu in Japanese can be shortened into N in ʔUcinaaguci:
miso --> んす Nsu 'miso'
mune --> んに Nni 'breast'

Accentuated syllables in Japanese may be lengthened in ʔUcinaaguci:
mame --> まーみ maami 'bean'

Transcription according to "Okinawago jiten" of 1963

z soft j (Japanese j)
c soft ts (Japanese ch)
si, se soft s (Japanese shi, she)
j English or Japanese y
s' hard s (before i and e)
c' hard ts
z' hard z
N syllabic n (it can also begin a word)
Q geminate consonant
ʔ glottal stop
Last edited by Pauro on 2008-11-15, 10:48, edited 14 times in total.
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Re: Uchinaaguchi (Okinawan) Lessons

Postby Karavinka on 2008-10-29, 16:45

Thanks for the lessons. :) This phonological correspondence really helps - suddenly the language appears less mystical and possible. :)

Btw, I thought I'd better split this, since it'd be confusing to deal with two distinct languages on the same thread - and that thread is already pretty lengthy and chaotic already. As a general rule this should go to the "other languages" dump bin but I will leave it up to you and others whether this stays here for the moment or not. My vote is - why not? Although not genetically related, they're politically groupable.
↑ ↑ ↓ ↓ ← → ← → B A
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Re: Uchinaaguchi (Okinawan) Lessons

Postby unzum on 2008-10-29, 19:10

This is awesome, thanks so much Pauro!

I love the way you explained the sound changes, now I get why it's called うちなーぐち (uchinaaguchi)!
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Re: Uchinaaguchi (Okinawan) Lessons

Postby Karavinka on 2008-10-29, 19:19

A quick notice: I poked proycon and got him to add Okinawan to the language options on the user profile.
↑ ↑ ↓ ↓ ← → ← → B A
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Re: Uchinaaguchi (Okinawan) Lessons

Postby Pauro on 2008-10-31, 12:04

Not a bad idea with splitting it out. Thanks for the technical care.
Anyway, it means I'll have a lot to do with filling this entry up, so that it stopped looking so neglected :D
Please don't hesitate to ask me questions and point out ambiguities.
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Re: Uchinaaguchi (Okinawan) Lessons

Postby Pauro on 2008-10-31, 13:25

Eesaci
Greeting & courtesy phrases

MeNsooree めんそーれー is a popular welcome greeting that you can hear eg. on your arrival in Okinawa. It corresponds to Japanese irasshaimase. It's also got a politer form ʔimeNs'eebiri いめんせーびり.

There's no defined greeting to be said when meeting somebody. The reason is that in the old days, the Okinawa society lived in dispersed villages, thus there was no need for any formal greetings. There are, however, other ways to open a talk, like:
Cuu-ja feeuki sooibiiN-jaa ちゅーや ふぇーうき そーいびーんやー (literally You're early today) and
ʔUkimisoocii うきみそーちー used generally in the household (literally Are you up?), both of which, I dare say, could constitute a translation for ohayoo gozaimasu.
Ii ʔwaacici jaibiin-jaa いー うゎーちち やいびーんやー (literally The weather's nice, isn't it?)
Cuu ʔuganabira ちゅー うがなびら is a polite way to greet a bigger number of people.
Hai-sai はいさい if you're a man or Hai-tai はいたい if you're a woman are said to friends or people you're familiar with.
Hazimitijaa-sai はじみてぃやーさい or Hazimitijaa-tai はじみてぃやーたい (used by men and women respectively) correspond to hajimemashite (How do you do?)
Jutasiku ʔunigee sabira ゆたしく うにげー さびら Yoroshiku o-negai-shimasu or
MiisiQcooti kwimisooree みーしっちょーてぃ くぃみそーれー O-mishirioki kudasai (Pleased to meet you).


Niheedeebiru にへーでーびる Arigatoo
ʔIQpee niheedeebiru いっぺー にへーでーびる Arigatoo-gozaimasu
Diisai でぃーさい Doozo
WaQsaibiitaN わっさいびーたん Gomennasai
Guburiasabira ぐぶりーさびら Shitsurei-shimasu, Sayoonara
GuburiisabitaN ぐぶりーさびたん Shitsurei-shimashita
Caabira ちゃーびら Gomenkudasai (when visiting someone's place)
Koojabira こーやびら Gomenkudasai (when entering eg. a shop)
ʔUjukuimisooree, ʔUjukuimiseebiri うゆくいみそーれー Oyasumi-nasai
KwaQciisabira くゎっちーさびら Itadakimasu
KwaQciisabitaN くゎっちーさびたん Gochisoosama-deshita
ʔUgaN duusa うがんどぅーさ O-hisashiburi-desu
ʔUkutaNdee neemi soorani うくたんでー ねーみ そーらに O-tsukare-sama
ʔAtu karajaa あとぅ からやー Mata ato-de
Last edited by Pauro on 2008-11-15, 10:54, edited 13 times in total.
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Re: Uchinaaguchi (Okinawan) Lessons

Postby Aleco on 2008-10-31, 19:49

If ki -> ci, and e -> i, shouldn't sake be saci and not saki? Interesting though, I'll follow these lessons :)
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Re: Uchinaaguchi (Okinawan) Lessons

Postby Smitty on 2008-10-31, 20:29

A very interesting set of lessons. I'll be following these :mrgreen:
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Re: Uchinaaguchi (Okinawan) Lessons

Postby Pauro on 2008-10-31, 20:41

Only one change at a time, Aleco. Therefore, either you only change e to i, or the whole syllable ki to ci.
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Re: Uchinaaguchi (Okinawan) Lessons

Postby unzum on 2008-11-02, 13:28

Very interesting stuff, I'm going to take these expressions and put them in my SRS to learn them properly. I also want to try converting the Okinawan back to Japanese using the sound changes you explained last lesson.

One thing though, you appear to have forgotten to put the English translation for the last set of phrases. There's only Japanese right now, and if anyone was interested and didn't know Japanese they wouldn't be able to follow.

Anyway, thanks again so much! I''m looking forward to getting a bit further with these lessons and learning how to have a basic conversation! :D
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Re: Uchinaaguchi (Okinawan) Lessons

Postby Pauro on 2008-11-02, 21:44

I realize I haven't put English translations but some of the greetings have no equivalents and are pretty tough to express in English. All speakers of Japanese should know what I mean :?
To be continued...
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Re: Uchinaaguchi (Okinawan) Lessons

Postby Pauro on 2008-11-04, 11:46

Self-presentation

Hazimitijaa-sai.
Hazimitijaa-sai.
WaNnee KiNzoo jaibiiN.
WaNnee ʔOosiro jaibiiN. Jutasiku ʔunigee sabira.
MiisiQcooti kwimisooree.


はじめなして。 
How do you do?
はじめなして。 
How do you do?
私は金城です。 
I'm Kinjoo.
私は大城です。よろしくお願いします。 
I'm Ooshiro. Pleased to meet you.
お見知りおきください。 
Pleased to meet you.

Notes:

JaibiiN is the polite form of the verb to be somebody/something, or equivalent to ~desu, eg.
WaNnee ʔUcinaaNcu jaibiiN. I'm Okinawan.

The ending -sai is added by men to express politeness. The feminine equivalent ending is -tai.

Kinjoo and Ooshiro are popular family names in Okinawa.

Other formal courtesy expressions one can hear during self-presentation:
Hazimiti ʔuganabira  はじめてお目にかかります
ʔUhacini wiimicee ʔuganabira お初にお目見えつかまつります
Last edited by Pauro on 2008-11-14, 18:06, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Uchinaaguchi (Okinawan) Lessons

Postby unzum on 2008-11-07, 18:36

Thanks again for the next lessons. Romaji Okinawan kinda hurts my eyes (!) but I'm getting used to it. :)

So if hazimitijaasai is はじめまして, and -tai is a masculine ending ... could you say hazimitijaatai if you were a guy?

Also, how can you say a glottal stop in front of a word? As in ?ucinaaguci.
And what is a geminative phoneme??
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Re: Uchinaaguchi (Okinawan) Lessons

Postby Pauro on 2008-11-07, 18:51

It hurts my eyes too but unfortunately there's no standard system to write in Okinawan.

A guy would normally use "hazimitijaasai" and a woman "hazimitijaatai".

Actually a glottal stop is not pronounced. It's just like a tension inside your throat.
I'm not sure about the term "geminative phoneme" but I meant repetition of a consonant, as when you put small "tsu" in Japanese.
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Re: Uchinaaguchi (Okinawan) Lessons

Postby unzum on 2008-11-07, 19:02

Thanks, I got -tai & -sai mixed up. Doh!

Still not sure what you mean. A っ in Japanese is a glottal stop (as far as I know). If the Q is pronounced the same way the hiragana transcription reads then it should just be a glottal stop.
E.g. くゎっちいさびら KwaQciisabira
There's a kind-of pause between Kwa and cii, right? It's a glottal stop, I think that's the word you're looking for. :)
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Re: Uchinaaguchi (Okinawan) Lessons

Postby Psi-Lord on 2008-11-07, 19:06

unzum wrote:A っ in Japanese is a glottal stop (as far as I know). If the Q is pronounced the same way the hiragana transcription reads then it should just be a glottal stop.

The Wikipedia article on Japanese phonology has a small section on /Q/ at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_phonology#Moraic_obstruent.
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Re: Uchinaaguchi (Okinawan) Lessons

Postby Pauro on 2008-11-07, 19:40

As far as I know glottal stop is something different... っ is called a gemination ie. making double.
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Re: Uchinaaguchi (Okinawan) Lessons

Postby unzum on 2008-11-08, 15:19

Thanks for the link Psi-lord. I think I understand a bit better now.
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Re: Uchinaaguchi (Okinawan) Lessons

Postby Pauro on 2008-11-14, 17:14

What's that?

TaNmee-sai. ʔUree nuu jaibiiga.
Kuri-naa. Kuree goojaa jasa.


おじいさん。それは何ですか。 
What's that, grandfather?
これか。これはニガウリだよ。
This? It's a goya.

HaNsii-tai. ʔUree nuu jaibiiga.
Kuri-naa. Kuree papajaa jasa.


おばあさん。それは何ですか。 
What's that, grandmother?
これか。これはパパイヤだよ。
This? It's a papaya.

Vocabulary

ʔuri that --> ʔuree that [as a topic]
kuri this --> kuree this [as a topic]
nuu what

Ucinaaguci distinguishes names of the family members by their social class: nobility (jukaQcu) from the common people (hjakusoo)
taNmee is the nobility term for a grandfather, whilst the common people's term is ʔusumee.
haNsii is the nobility term for a grandmother used in the city of Naha, elsewhere meaning old woman. The term in the Shuri dialect, ie. the standard language of the capital in the times of the Ryukyu Kingdom is Nmee, whilst the common people's term is haamee.

Papajaa, ie. papaya is a Japanese borrowing and it also has a traditional name maNzuui. Goojaa reminds of a cucumber but very bitter in taste; therefore it's called nigauri in Japanese.
Both plants are commonly grown in Okinawa.
_______________________________________

KeNici. ʔUree nuu jaga.
HaNsii-sai. Kuree pasokoN jaibiiN.

けんいち。それは何だ。
What's that, Ken'ichi?
おばあさん。これはパソコンです。
This is a computer, grandmother.

Megumii. ʔUree nuu jaga.
TaNmee-tai. Kuree riNsu jaibiiN.

めぐみ。それは何だ。
What's that, Megumi?
おじいさん。これはリンスです。
This is a hair conditioner, grandfather.

Notes

The verb 'to be someone/something' is jasa in the common language and jaibiiN is its polite form.
An interrogative particle -ga is added to form a question - respectively jaga and jaibiiga. This particle is only used for questions formed by interrogative pronouns like nuu. For general questions the particles -mi or -naa are used, eg.
ʔUree sinsii jami. Is that a teacher?
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Re: Uchinaaguchi (Okinawan) Lessons

Postby Pauro on 2008-11-15, 11:09

Family members

great-grandfather
ʔufutaNmee (nobility)
ʔufuʔusumee (common people)
great grand-mother
ʔufuNmee (nobility)
ʔufuhaamee (common people)
grandparents
faafuzi
grandfather
taNmee (nobility)
ʔusumee (common people)
grandmother
Nmee (nobility)
haamee (common people)
parents
ʔuja
father
taarii (nobility)
suu (common people)
mother
ʔajaa (nobility)
ʔaNmaa (common people)
uncle (general)
wuNcuu
uncle (father's or mother's elder brother)
ʔufutaarii (nobility)
ʔufusuu (common people)
aunt (general)
wubamaa
aunt (father's or mother's elder sister)
ʔufuʔajaa (nobility)
ʔufuʔaNmaa (common people)
siblings (general)
coodee
siblings (elder)
siiza
siblings (younger)
ʔuQtu
brothers
wikii
sisters
wunai
elder brother
jaQcii (nobility)
ʔafii (common people)
elder sister
Nmii (nobility)
ʔaNgwaa (common people)
nephew
wiiQkwa
niece
miiQkwa
cousin
ʔicuku
child
Qkwa
son
wikigaNgwa
daughter
winaguNgwa
grandchildren
Nmaga
great-grandchildren
mataNmaga
husband
wutu
wife
tuzi
parents-in-law
situ
father-in-law
wikigasitu
mother-in-law
winagusitu
son-in-law
muuku
daughter-in-law
jumi
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