A Descriptive Grammar of Early Old Japanese Prose (Brill's by John R. Bentley

By John R. Bentley

The oldest written level of the japanese language kinds the topic of John Bentley's very important quantity. The underlying texts (also offered right here) are these of the spiritual liturgies (norito) and imperial edicts (A.D. 685). half one bargains with the liturgies, the writing procedure, texts, and phonology and the relationship challenge. the most chapters of the ebook are an outline of nominals, verbs, verbal suffixes, auxiliary verbs, debris, and conjunctions. A bankruptcy at the lexicon, detailing many hapax legomena and fascinating phrases, makes this right into a significant reference paintings on early jap.

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Generally, norito developed along with the rituals of festivals, and have an ancient origin, having been presented to successive rulers (emperors) at their first fruit [ascension] festivals, so there is sufficient evidence for scholars to believe the liturgies are old. The editors then believe the liturgies to be composed of material from the Asuka (672-694), Fujiwara (694-710), and into the Nara (710-784) eras. Other liturgies are believed to date from the Heian era. Unfortunately, no concrete evidence is provided to tell the reader on what basis the liturgies were dated, and what specific liturgies date from what era.

1994:9): a i i u e e o 6. This notation has functioned more as a transcription of Old Japanese than as an actual phonetic representation of the individual vocalic values. With the work of Lange (1973), Whitman (1985), Martin (1987), Unger (1993) and others, the following notation (now commonly called Yale romanization2) has gained wider usage: a yi iy u ye ey wo o. This refined notation is intended to show that the type A front vowels were palatal, and type B non-back were non-palatal. The type 1 As noted in the previous chapter, I will continue to call these vowels, though clearly some of these are diphthongal in origin.

The etymological spellings in the liturgies reflect this split. I then checked the etymological spellings of various particles and the conjugation of verbs and adjectives (what I term stative verbs). The first fifteen liturgies (from the Toshigoshi no matsuri to Iwaido no matsuri) date from the late eighth century or earlier, while the liturgies starting with Ise shrine date from a period later than that, perhaps after 750 CE. There are very few misspellings in the former, while there are precious few correct, etymological spellings in the latter.

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