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définition - Ainu_language

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Ainu language

                   
Ainu
アイヌ・イタㇰ Aynu itak
Pronunciation [ˈainu iˈtak]
Spoken in Japan
Region Hokkaidō
Native speakers ~100s  (date missing)
Language family
Ainu. When considered a single language, classified as a language isolate
Writing system Katakana, Latin
Language codes
ISO 639-3 ain

Ainu (Ainu: アイヌ・イタㇰ, Aynu itak; Japanese: アイヌ語 Ainu-go) is one of the Ainu languages, spoken by members of the Ainu ethnic group on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaidō.

Until the twentieth century, Ainu languages were also spoken throughout the southern half of the island of Sakhalin and by small numbers of people in the Kuril Islands. All but the Hokkaidō language are extinct, with the last speaker of Sakhalin Ainu having died in 1994; and Hokkaidō Ainu is moribund, though there are ongoing attempts to revive it.

Ainu has no generally accepted genealogical relationship to any other language family. For the most frequent proposals, see Ainu languages.

Contents

  Speakers

  Pirka Kotan museum, Ainu language and cultural center in Sapporo (Jozankei area)

Ainu is a moribund language, and has been endangered for at least the past few decades. Most of the 25,000 – 200,000 ethnic Ainu in Japan speak only Japanese. In the town of Nibutani (part of Biratori, Hokkaidō) where many of the remaining native speakers live, there are 100 speakers, out of which only 15 used the language every day in the late 1980s.

There is currently an active movement to revitalize the language—mainly in Hokkaidō but also elsewhere—to reverse the centuries-long decline in the number of speakers. This has led to an increasing number of second-language learners, especially in Hokkaidō, in large part due to the pioneering efforts of the late Ainu folklorist, activist and former Diet member Shigeru Kayano, himself a native speaker.

  Phonology

Ainu syllables are CV(C) (that is, they have an obligatory syllable onset and an optional syllable coda) and there are few consonant clusters.

  Vowels

There are five vowel sounds in Ainu:

  Front Central Back
Close i u
Mid e o
Open a

  Consonants

  Bilabial Labio-
velar
Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Plosive p   t   k
Affricate     ts      
Nasal m   n      
Fricative     s     h
Approximant   w   j    
Tap/flap     ɾ      

Plosives /p t ts k/ may be voiced [b d dz ɡ] between vowels and after nasals. Both /ti/ and /tsi/ are realized as [t͡ʃi], and /s/ becomes [ʃ] before /i/ and at the end of syllables. There is some variation among dialects; in the Sakhalin dialect, syllable-final /p, t, k, r/ lenited and merged into /x/. After an /i/, this /x/ is pronounced [ç]. A glottal stop [ʔ] is often inserted at the beginning of words, before an accented vowel, but is non-phonemic.

There is a pitch accent system. The accentuation of specific words varies somewhat from dialect to dialect. Generally, words including affixes have a high pitch on the stem, or on the first syllable if it is closed or has a diphthong, while other words have the high pitch on the second syllable, although there are exceptions to this generalization.

  Typology and grammar

Typologically, Ainu is similar in word order (and some aspects of phonology) to Japanese.

Ainu has a canonical word order of SOV,[1] and it uses postpositions rather than prepositions. Nouns can cluster to modify one another; the head comes at the end. Verbs, which are inherently either transitive or intransitive, accept various derivational affixes. Ainu does not have grammatical gender. Plurals are indicated by a suffix.[1]

Classical Ainu, the language of the yukar, is polysynthetic, with incorporation of nouns and adverbs; this is greatly reduced in the modern colloquial language.

Applicatives may be used in Ainu to place nouns in the dative, instrumental, comitative, locative, allative, or ablative roles. Besides freestanding nouns, these roles may be assigned to incorporated nouns, and such use of applicatives is in fact mandatory for incorporating oblique nouns. Like incorporation, applicatives have grown less common in the modern language.

Ainu has a closed class of plural verbs, and some of these are suppletive.

  Writing

Officially,[vague] the Ainu language is written in a modified version of the Japanese katakana syllabary. There is also a Latin-based alphabet in use. The Ainu Times publishes in both. In the Latin orthography, /ts/ is spelt c and /j/ as y; [ʔ], which only occurs initially before accented vowels, is not written. Other phonemes use the same character as the IPA transcription given above. An equals sign (=) is used to mark morpheme boundaries, such as after a prefix. Its pitch accent is denoted by acute accent in Latin (e.g., á). This is usually not denoted in katakana.

Rev. John Batchelor was an English missionary in Japan. He lived among the Ainu, studied them and published many works on the Ainu language.[2][3][4] Batchelor wrote extensively, both works about the Ainu language and works in Ainu itself. He was the first to write in Ainu and use a writing system for it.[5]

  Special katakana for the Ainu language

A Unicode standard exists for a set of extended katakana (Katakana Phonetic Extensions) for transliterating the Ainu language and other languages written with katakana.[6] These characters are used to write final consonants and sounds that cannot be expressed using conventional katakana. The extended katakana are based on regular katakana and either are smaller in size or have a handakuten. As few fonts yet support these extensions, workarounds exist for many of the characters, such as using a smaller font with the regular katakana ク ku to produce to represent the separate small katakana glyph ku used as in アイヌイタㇰ (Aynu itak).

This is a list of special katakana used in transcribing the Ainu language. Most of the characters are of the extended set of katakana, though a few have been used historically in Japanese[citation needed], and thus are part of the main set of katakana. A number of previously proposed characters have not been added to Unicode as they can be represented as a sequence of two existing codepoints.

Character Unicode Appearance Name Ainu usage
31F0 Katakana Letter Small Ku Final k
31F1 Katakana Letter Small Shi Final s [ɕ]
31F2 Katakana Letter Small Su Final s, used to emphasize its pronunciation as [s] rather than [ɕ]. [s] and [ʃ] are allophones in Ainu.
31F3 Katakana Letter Small To Final t
31F4 Katakana Letter Small Nu Final n
31F5 Katakana Letter Small Ha Final h [x], succeeding the vowel a. (e.g. アㇵ ah) Sakhalin dialect only.
31F6 Katakana Letter Small Hi Final h [ç], succeeding the vowel i. (e.g. イㇶ ih) Sakhalin dialect only.
31F7 Katakana Letter Small Fu Final h [x], succeeding the vowel u. (e.g. ウㇷ uh) Sakhalin dialect only.
31F8 Katakana Letter Small He Final h [x], succeeding the vowel e. (e.g. エㇸ eh) Sakhalin dialect only.
31F9 Katakana Letter Small Ho Final h [x], succeeding the vowel o. (e.g. オㇹ oh) Sakhalin dialect only.
31FA Katakana Letter Small Mu Final m
31FB Katakana Letter Small Ra Final r [ɾ], succeeding the vowel a. (e.g. アㇻ ar)
31FC Katakana Letter Small Ri Final r [ɾ], succeeding the vowel i. (e.g. イㇼ ir)
31FD Katakana Letter Small Ru Final r [ɾ], succeeding the vowel u. (e.g. ウㇽ ur)
31FE Katakana Letter Small Re Final r [ɾ], succeeding the vowel e. (e.g. エㇾ er)
31FF Katakana Letter Small Ro Final r [ɾ], succeeding the vowel o. (e.g. オㇿ or)
Characters represented using combining characters
ㇷ゚ 31F7 + 309A Katakana Letter Small Pu Final p
セ゚ 30BB + 309A セ゜ Katakana Letter Se With Semi-Voiced Sound Mark ce [tse]
ツ゚ 30C4 + 309A ツ゜ Katakana Letter Tu With Semi-Voiced Sound Mark tu. ツ゚ and ト゚ are interchangeable.
ト゚ 30C8 + 309A ト゜ Katakana Letter To With Semi-Voiced Sound Mark tu. ツ゚ and ト゚ are interchangeable.

  Basic syllables

a
[a]
i
[i]
u
[u̜]
e
[e]
o
[o]
a ア
[a]
i イ
[i]
u ウ
[u̜]
e エ
[e]
o オ
[o]
k
[k] 1
ka カ
[ka]
ki キ
[ki]
ku ク
[ku̜]
ke ケ
[ke]
ko コ
[ko]
-k
[-k̚]
s
[s] ~ [ʃ]
sa シャ/サ 2
[sa] ~ [ʃa]
si シ
[ʃi]
su シュ/ス 2
[su̜] ~ [ʃu̜]
se シェ/セ 2
[se] ~ [ʃe]
so ショ/ソ 2
[so] ~ [ʃo]
-s / 2
[-ɕ]
t
[t] 1
ta タ
[ta]
ci チ
[tʃi]
tu ト゜/ツ゜ 2
[tu̜]
te テ
[te]
to ト
[to]
-t /ッ 3
[-t̚]
c
[ts] ~ [tʃ] 1
ca チャ
[tsa] ~ [tʃa]
ci チ
[tʃi]
cu チュ
[tsu̜] ~ [tʃu̜]
ce チェ
[tse] ~ [tʃe]
co チョ
[tso] ~ [tʃo]
n
[n]
na ナ
[na]
ni ニ
[nʲi]
nu ヌ
[nu̜]
ne ネ
[ne]
no ノ
[no]
-n /ン 4
[-n, -m-, -ŋ-] 5
h 6
[h]
ha ハ
[ha]
hi ヒ
[çi]
hu フ
[ɸu̜]
he ヘ
[he]
ho ホ
[ho]
-h 6
[-x]
-ah
[-ax]
-ih
[-iç]
-uh
[-u̜x]
-eh
[-ex]
-oh
[-ox]
p
[p] 1
pa パ
[pa]
pi ピ
[pi]
pu プ
[pu̜]
pe ペ
[pe]
po ポ
[po]
-p
[-p̚]
m
[m]
ma マ
[ma]
mi ミ
[mi]
mu ム
[mu̜]
me メ
[me]
mo モ
[mo]
-m
[-m]
y
[j]
ya ヤ
[ja]
yu ユ
[ju̜]
ye イェ
[je]
yo ヨ
[jo]
r
[ɾ]
ra ラ
[ɾa]
ri リ
[ɾi]
ru ル
[ɾu̜]
re レ
[ɾe]
ro ロ
[ɾo]
-ar 2
[-aɾ]
-ir 2
[-iɾ]
-ur 2
[-u̜ɾ]
-er 2
[-eɾ]
-or 2
[-oɾ]
-r 2
[-ɾ]
w
[w]
wa ワ
[wa]
wi ウィ/ヰ 2
[wi]
we ウェ/ヱ 2
[we]
wo ウォ/ヲ 2
[wo]
1: k, t, c, p are sometimes voiced [ɡ], [d], [dz] ~ [dʒ], [b], respectively. It doesn't change the meaning of a word, but it sounds more rough/masculine. When they are voiced, they may be written as g, d, j, dz, b, ガ, ダ, ヂャ, ヅァ, バ, etc.
2: Both used according to actual pronunciations, or to writer's preferred styles.
3: ッ is final t at the end of a word. (e.g. pet = ペッ = ペ) In the middle of a polysyllabic word, it's a final consonant preceding the initial with a same value. (e.g. orta /otta/ = オッタ. オタ is not preferred.)
4: At the end of a word, n can be written either or ン. In the middle of a polysyllabic word, it's ン. (e.g. tan-mosir = タンモシ = タ+モシ, but not タモシ.)
5: [m] before [p], [ŋ] before [k], [n] elsewhere. Unlike Japanese, it does not become other sounds such as nasal vowels.
6: Initial h [h] and final h [x] are different phenomes. Final h exists in Sakhalin dialect only.

  Diphthongs

Final [ɪ] is spelled y in Latin, small ィ in katakana. Final [ʊ] is spelt w in Latin, small ゥ in katakana. [ae] is spelt ae, アエ, or アェ.

Example with initial k:

[kaɪ] [ku̜ɪ] [koɪ] [kaʊ] [kiʊ] [keʊ] [koʊ] [keɪ]
kay kuy koy kaw kiw kew kow key
カィ クィ コィ カゥ キゥ ケゥ コゥ ケィ

Since the above rule is used systematically, some katakana combinations have different sounds from conventional Japanese.

ウィ クィ スィ ティ トゥ フィ
Ainu [wi], [u̜ɪ] [ku̜ɪ] [su̜ɪ] [teɪ] [toʊ] [ɸu̜ɪ]
Japanese [wi] [kɰi] ~ [kwi] [si] [ti] [tɯ] [ɸi]

  Long vowels

There are long vowels in Sakhalin dialect. Either circumflex or macron is used in Latin, long vowel sign (ー) is used in katakana.

Example with initial k:

[kaː] [kiː] [kuː] [keː] [koː]
カー キー クー ケー コー

  Oral literature

The Ainu have a rich oral tradition of hero-sagas called yukar, which retain a number of grammatical and lexical archaisms.

  Notes

  1. ^ a b [1]
  2. ^ Frédéric, Louis; Translated by Käthe Roth (2005). ""Ainu"". Japan encyclopedia (illustrated, reprint ed.). Harvard University Press. pp. 13. ISBN 0-674-01753-6. http://books.google.com/books?id=p2QnPijAEmEC&lpg=PA13&ots=gYIurzboqV&dq=John%20Batchelor%20(1854%E2%80%931944)&pg=PA13#v=onepage&q=John%20Batchelor%20(1854%E2%80%931944)&f=false. 
  3. ^ Ivar Lissner (1957). The living past (4 ed.). Putnam's. p. 204. http://books.google.com/books?id=0skIAQAAIAAJ&q=1877+theologian+john+batchelor++missionary+studied. Retrieved 2012 23 April. "In 1877 a young and industrious theologian went to visit the Ainu. His name was John Batchelor, and he was a scientist and missionary. He got to know the Ainu well, studied their language and customs, won their affection, and remained their staunch friend until the end of his days. It is to Batchelor that we owe our deepest insight into the" [Original from the University of California Digitized Jan 27, 2009 Length 444 pages]
  4. ^ Ivar Lissner (1961). The living past. Capricorn. p. 204. http://books.google.com/books?ei=mFmXT6v4J-rl0QH95c3XDg&id=GQJIAAAAMAAJ&q=1877+theologian+john+batchelor++missionary+studied. Retrieved 2012 23 April. "In 1877 a young and industrious theologian went to visit the Ainu. His name was John Batchelor, and he was a scientist and missionary. He got to know the Ainu well, studied their language and customs, won their affection, and remained their staunch friend until the end of his days. It is to Batchelor that we owe our deepest insight into the" [Original from the University of Michigan Digitized Aug 31, 2007 Length 444 pages]
  5. ^ John Patric (1943). ...Why Japan was strong (4 ed.). Doubleday, Doran & company, inc.. p. 72. http://books.google.com/books?id=wbFCAAAAIAAJ&dq=john+batchelor+foreigner+japanese&q=batchelor+ainu+hitherto+wrote+books. Retrieved 2012 23 April. "John Batchelor set about to learn the Ainu language, which the Japanese had not troubled ever to learn. He laboriously compiled an Ainu dictionary. He singlehandedly turned this hitherto but spoken tongue into a written language, and himself wrote books in it which" [Original from the University of California Digitized Oct 16, 2007 Length 313 pages]
  6. ^ See this page at alanwood.net and this section of the Unicode specification.

  References

  • Refsing, Kirsten (1986). The Ainu Language: The Morphology and Syntax of the Shizunai Dialect. Aarhus: Aarhus University Press. ISBN 87-7288-020-1. 
  • Refsing, Kirsten (1996). Early European Writings on the Ainu Language. London: Routledge. ISBN 0-7007-0400-0. 
  • Shibatani, Masayoshi (1990). The Languages of Japan. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-36918-5. 
  • Tamura, Suzuko (2000). The Ainu Language. Tokyo: Sanseido. ISBN 4-385-35976-8. 

  Further reading

  See also

  External links

   
               

 

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