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Okinawan Japanese

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Okinawan Japanese ウチナーヤマトゥグチ, 沖縄大和口, Uchinaa Yamato-guchi is the Japanese language as spoken by people of Okinawa Prefecture Okinawan Japanese's accents and words are influenced by traditional Ryukyuan languages Okinawan Japanese has some loanwords from American English due to the United States administration after the Battle of Okinawa Okinawan Japanese is a Japanese dialect 方言, unlike the Okinawan language which is, nevertheless, also officially considered a Japanese dialect in Japan


  • 1 Japanese borrowings
  • 2 English borrowings
  • 3 Notes
  • 4 References

Japanese borrowingsedit

There are a number of aspects of Okinawan Japanese that are borrowed from the Japanese language, but have different uses or meanings For example, a number of verb inflections and words indicating aspect and mood are the same in Japanese and Okinawan Japanese, but have different uses in both Hazu means "due, scheduled, or supposed to occur", which indicates a high degree of probability in Japanese Yet in Okinawan Japanese it indicates a much lower degree of probability, more like "probably" or "may occur"1 In Japanese, the auxiliaries masho, yo, and o are combined with the particle -ne after a verb and used to make a suggestion An example is ikimasho ne Let's go In Okinawan Japanese, this would express a speaker's will It would mean "I will go" instead2

Particles and demonstratives are another aspect of Okinawan Japanese grammar that is borrowed from Japanese The particle kara which means "from" or "since" in Japanese, means "as" or "because" in Okinawan Japanese So, kara is used in Okinawan Japanese where wo or de is used in Japanese3

Some words are borrowed from Japanese, but have different meanings For example, aruku meanings "go around" or "work" in Okinawan Japanese, but means "walk" in Japanese Korosu means "hit" in Okinawan Japanese and "kill" in Japanese4

Many Okinawan youth use words borrowed from Japanese slang, such as mecchaa very and dasadasa country bumpkin5

English borrowingsedit

Although not nearly as substantial as the borrowings from Japanese, Okinawan Japanese does contain some English loan words Examples are paaraa parlor, biichii paatii beach party, and takoraisu rice with tacos One word combines the English word 'rich' with the Okinawan suffix -aa to create ricchaa a rich person6


  1. ^ Noguchi 2001, p 83
  2. ^ Noguchi 2001, p 84
  3. ^ Noguchi 2001, p 86
  4. ^ Noguchi 2001, p 87
  5. ^ Noguchi 2001, p 90
  6. ^ Noguchi 2001, p 89


  • Noguchi, MG 2001 Studies in Japanese Bilungualism Multilingual Matters Ltd ISBN 978-1853594892 

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Okinawan Japanese

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