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I think it would be great if this article included a bit more comparisons to Okinawan; that it's a separate language from Japanese is a given, but I think that for many readers it would be a surprise to learn that Kunigami is considered a separate language from Central & Southern Okinawan.
Also, while I understand the value of IPA to linguists, there are those of us who approach this topic from a Japanese Studies (or Okinawan Studies) background, an approach which I would argue is equally valid. For those of us with an intimate understanding of Japanese - kanji, kana, and romaji - and a strong interest in the various Ryukyuan languages, but no knowledge of IPA, it would be wonderful if more kana were used, and if more care were taken to represent romaji more accurately. This is not just a matter of what would be easier for me, or some weak argument like that, but indeed speaks to the accuracy of representing the language as it would be written natively, i.e. in kana, along with the closest English transliteration (romaji).
I'd make these changes myself, but as the state it's in is already incomprehensible, I can't know what's being referred to well enough to make the proper changes. What's a glottal stop doing in the middle of haʔkai? Is that just はかい, or does Kunigami uses particularly noted glottal stops where Japanese does not?
LordAmeth, that's not a glottal stop, it's a glottalized consonant. Most of these sounds do not have a standard representation in kana, since there is no standardized kana version of the IPA. --ಠ_ಠ node.ue ಠ_ಠ (talk) 20:26, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
Then its transcription is just plain wrong. Is the consonant preglottalized (/ˀk/) or just 'simply' glottalized (/kˀ/)? --JorisvS (talk) 22:29, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
LordAmeth, please try to understand that kanji, hiragana, and katakana are the orthography of the Japanese language. They cannot be accurately used to write non-Japanese languages, as they've been developed to represent Japanese phonology only. IPA is the only way to transcribe words so that the pronunciation is unambiguous. As most, if not all, of the Ryukyu languages lack a native writing system (and even if they had a writing system, it would be imperfect, as all writing systems are) we have to do the best we can with IPA. As for the glottalized consonants, I too am very confused. As it is transcribed, haʔkai contains a glottal stop, which is different from /ˀk/ and /kˀ/, not to mention the vague possibility that what the article describes as "glottalized consonants" could include ejectives. Do we have any published work containing a phoneme inventory?? 188.8.131.52 (talk) 05:20, 12 October 2010 (UTC)