Digital Museum for Endangered Languages and Cultures The Ryukyu Archipelago: Nishihara, Miyako Islands

デジタル博物館「ことばと文化- 琉球列島」宮古諸島 西原地区

History of the Language

Ikema is a subdialect of the Miyako Ryukyuan dialect and is spoken on Ikema Island, in Sarahama on Irabu Island, and in Nishihara on Miyako Island. Ryukyuan is sometimes called a dialect of Japanese, but linguistically speaking it is more accurate to say that Ryukyuan is a sister language of Japanese. In other words, both Ryukyuan and Japanese have diverged from a common source which is called Proto-Japonic.

We will learn the genetic history of the language and how it is related to other languages or dialects in Ryukyu and Japan. We will also learn how, through a series of phonological and morphological changes, Ikema has diverged from other Ryukyuan or Japanese dialects.

Genetic Relationship

Learn about the genetic relationship between Ikema and other dialects of Miyako Ryukyuan, and Miyako Ryukyuan and other Ryukyuan languages.


Phonological Changes

Learn about the series of sound changes that brought about differences between the languages and how they lead to the sound system of Ikema.