||This article needs attention from an expert in Japan. (December 2009)|
|Native to||Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan|
|c. 25,000 (2004)|
ryn – Northern Amami
ams – Southern Amami
kzg – Kikai
tkn – Toku-no-Shima
The Amami language (島口/シマユムタ Shimayumuta) is spoken in the Amami Islands south of Kyūshū. The number of competent native speakers is not known, but native speakers can be found mostly among old people—as a result of Japanese language policy, the younger generations speak mostly Japanese as their first language. Amami is a Ryukyuan language, most closely related to Okinawan. As it does not have recognition within Japan as a language, it is officially known as the Amami dialect (奄美方言 Amami Hōgen?) or the Amami-Tokunoshima Dialects (奄美徳之島諸方言 Amami Tokunoshima Shohōgen?).
It is sometimes considered two languages. The main dialects are as follows:
- Northern Amami
- Southern Amami
- Southern Ōshima dialect
- Tokunoshima dialect (シマユミィタ Shimayumiita)
|p pj b bj||t d||tʃ tʃj||k kj kw ɡ ɡj ɡw||ʔ ʔj ʔw||Q|
|Fricatives||θ||s sj z zj||çj||x xj||h hj hw|
|Nasals||m mj ʔm||n nj ʔn ʔnj||N|
There are seven distinct vowels in Amami, in addition to a phonemic distinction between long and short vowels.
- Northern Amami at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
Southern Amami at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
Kikai at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
Toku-no-Shima at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
- Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Amami". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
- Samuel E. Martin, 1970. Shodon: A Dialect of the Northern Ryukyus
- Yuto Niinaga, 2009. How Do We Describe Demonstratives in Yuwan Ryukyuan?
- In Japanese
- Amami Dialect Database, Okinawa Center of Language Study 
- Shigehisa Karimata, 1995–1996. The Phonemes of the Shodon dialect in Amami-Oshima
- Machi Hiromitsu, 1977. Nominalization in Yoron
- Hideshi Kiku, Let's speak Yoron (sample text with translation)
- Masao Ono, 2003. Phonological characteristics of Northern Amami dialects
- Nobuko Kibe, 2011. characteristics of Kikaijima
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