Recorded history in China begins with the Shang dynasty. Scholars today argue about when the dynasty began, with opinions ranging from the midth to the midth century B.
Cynthia Hallen An Overview of the History of The Japanese Language Theories have sprung up to explain the origin of the Japanese language until they have become as varied as the seasons.
In this paper Where did the earliest chinese writing appear will explore the major theories attempting to connect Japanese to other known languages, after first presenting some of the changes from Old Japanese to Modern Japanese, including both the written and spoken forms.
The Point of Reference: Japanese Today In order to track this journey through the history of the Japanese language, I'll start with the end result: Although the spoken language and the written language have obviously influenced one another, they each have their own unrelated histories.
Japanese writing is clearly taken from Chinese, but the language itself i. The feature of spoken Japanese that applies most directly to my arguments is its vowel system, with open syllables. Unlike English, lengthened vowels are important in distinguishing words.
Japanese consists of evenly-stressed syllables, each of which ends with a vowel. Most also begin with a consonant.
And so, we can form words like Na-ga-no and u-tsu-ku-shi-i beautiful. I will discuss other details of the spoken language later. The writing system of Japanese is probably the most famous aspect of the language because it is so complex. In fact, a regular sample of written Japanese contains a liberal mixture of three separate systems!
One system is the kanji, which are the ideographs borrowed from Chinese. Each kanji is a character that represents a meaning.
For example, the concepts sun, moon, fire, and water are each expressed in writing with a single kanji. Since each unrelated idea requires a separate character, thousands of ideographs are necessary for a sufficient writing system.
That means that each character must be identifiably different from all the rest, so each individual character can be complex as well. Today there are about two thousand kanji in regular use in Japan. The other two systems, which are generically called kana, are much more simple because they are both syllabic; this perfectly suits the phonotactic structure of the spoken language.
Like capital and lowercase sets of letters in the Roman alphabets, the two kana systems cover the same phonetic territory but have different orthographic functions. Katakana, the first syllabary, is more angular and is used mostly for transcribing words of foreign origin, such as terebi television.
Hiragana is more cursive, and can be used for grammatical inflections or for writing native Japanese words where kanji are not used.
Using the inflected verb kakimasu as an example, the root ka- would be represented by the kanji carrying its meaning writeand the inflection -kimasu would be written with three hiragana.
Early Written Language The Japanese had no writing system prior to the introduction of the Chinese one, which was originally used by Chinese people who lived in Japan during the early Christian era. Later, the educated Japanese used it to write the Chinese language.
The earliest known examples of Japanese writing, dating back to the 5th and 6th Centuries A. But by the 8th and 9th Centuries A. The earliest known Japanese records of any length are the Kojiki A. These works are valuable in revealing the evolution of the Japanese writing system from Chinese to a specialized system for recording spoken Japanese.
The Kojiki largely maintains Chinese syntax, while using character combinations specific to Japanese for their semantic content. Because of the complex nature of kanji, using them for phonetic purposes is not very convenient.
So the two kana systems developed independently during the 9th Century, as two different methods to simplify writing. Hiragana arose as a cursive abbreviation for the kanji, and was used mostly by women, who were excluded from the study of Chinese characters. They used it mostly for poetry, diaries and novels.
Katakana was the product of priests in Buddhist temples. As a result of this Chinese influence and domestic adaptation, Japanese writing developed into the threefold system it is today, with incredible complexity.
Part of the reason for its complexity is the incongruity of the Chinese and Japanese spoken languages. Where every word in Chinese is a single syllable, Japanese is a polysyllabic language and requires open syllables. Each kanji has at least two pronunciations: Internal Diachronic Changes The ancient texts of Japan have lent to studying the diachronic sound changes in the spoken language.
The most amazing discovery about Old Japanese lies in its vowel phoneme system. I for one had accepted it as an article of faith that Japanese has always been phonetically simple, with five "pure" vowels each falling neatly into one of the five Roman letters that we foreigners use today to represent them.
Shinkichi Hashimoto discovered that characters thought to represent the same sound actually occurred in complementary distribution-- i. · (Iron did not appear in China until the 5th century B.C.) At the entrance to the exhibition is a wine cup made in the 17th century B.C.
which is one of the earliest known Chinese bronze ashio-midori.com · From the earliest discoveries of the huge carved-stone 'African' heads, to the extraordinary similarity to the Chinese Shang culture in art and text, the Olmecs appear to have been influenced by several racial types, making them possibly one of the earliest true multi-cultural societies in the ashio-midori.com TABLE 1 - Comparing Fox-Tanuki Lore in China & Japan The Chinese fox predates the Japanese Tanuki by many centuries.
Japan’s Tanuki clearly derives from the same page as China’s fox. · Chinese writing is composed of signs that in the same time have a semantic and a syllabic value. Its evolution was similar to the cuneiform and hieroglyphic writings, but it ashio-midori.com · The invention of writing The earliest clay tablets in Sumeria were examples of prewriting; the pictographic impressions did not render the sounds of the Sumerian language, but were used simply as memory aids in recording economic data.
(See handout on Chinese.) The earliest, Shang Dynasty examples of true writing, still looked like ashio-midori.com The earliest Chinese writing, dating to the 2nd millennium bc, is preserved on animal bone and shell, while early writing in India was done on palm leaves and birch bark.
· The following is a comparison of Chinese characters in the Standard Form of National Characters, a common traditional Chinese standard used in Taiwan, the Table of General Standard Chinese Characters, the standard for Mainland Chinese simplified Chinese characters, and the jōyō kanji, the standard for Japanese ashio-midori.com://ashio-midori.com Chapter 9 Anthropology. STUDY. PLAY. state. When and where did the first towns arise? 10, to 9, years ago in the Middle East. What was the earliest writing? pictograph. cuneiform writing. early mesopotamians scribes used a styles (writing implement) to scrawl symbols on raw clay. This writing left a wedge shape impression on the ashio-midori.com It really isn't my place to write about etymology of Chinese characters, as it is a discipline that requires professional training. Many Chinese would cite Shuo Wen Jie Zi (Interpretation of Characters, by Xu Shen), but it was more out of wishful guess and thus can't be counted on as a reliable ashio-midori.com://ashio-midori.com
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