Talk:Miyako language

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How does this person know the exact amount of speakers?[edit]

They even said 'around.'

  • Yeah, and the figure seems bit too high. Current population of Miyakojima city is 56,285, meaning 99% of Miyakojima islanders can speak the dialect, if "55783" were really correct. Although I hope they could preserve their local speech that well, I highly doubt if that's the case. Local people under their 30s are generally monolingual in standard Japanese, and the immigrants from other parts of Japan surely make up more than 1% of the island population. Now looking at other articles, all the numbers of Ryūkyūan languages speakers seem too positive. Maybe we should put "citation needed" tags for all of them. Kzaral 23:13, 19 November 2006 (UTC)

The spelling "myaakufutsï" is more appropriated (= closer to the common phonemic transcription) than "myākufutsü". I have modified the number of speakers : 15000 is approximately the number of inhabitants over 60 years old according to the Japanese census. I have also suppressed the sentence "It is unique among Japonic languages in that it allows syllable-final consonants.". Even standard Japanese allows certain consonants in syllable-final position (a nasal or the first part of a geminate). In fact Amami dialects allow more syllable-final consonants than Miyako. The sentence "It can be separated into two dialect groupings, Irabu and Miyako (main island)." is also doubtful, there are no real studies about the inner classification of Miyako dialects. Tomaaru 15:44, 20 April 2007 (UTC)

Folk songs of Miyako are often heard in cabarets on Okinawa proper. (talk) 19:09, 19 September 2009 (UTC)


Is there seriously no information on the consonant or vowel inventories for the Miyako language? (talk) 19:39, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia depends on the contribution of individual editors to add such information. Unfortunately, there aren't very many resources available in English, which makes it difficult to accurately describe its phonology. Though, Thomas Pellard wrote a fairly detailed overview of the Ōgami dialect which you can obtain here. To summarize everything, he describes the Ōgami dialect as having five vowels /i u ɯ ɛ ɑ o/ and nine consonants /p t k m n ɾ f s ʋ/ which lack a voicing distinction. He also shows correspondances between various Miyako dialects. — Io Katai ᵀᵃˡᵏ 00:42, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
How would one go about adding this sort of information, but making it clear that this research is from the Ogami dialect? (talk) 10:18, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
In some Miyako dialects, there is a vowel /z̩/ which is often represented in the literature as the symbol ɿ, presumably for convenience, as that is not an actual IPA symbol. For example, "He played" is /aspɨz̩taz̩/. This vowel is common in Sinitic languages.
  • Any information on the intended phonetic values of the /z̩/ or ⟨ɿ⟩ symbols would be helpful. Various online sources (notably, in English) seem to use ⟨ɿ⟩ where other sources use {{IPA⟨ɨ⟩, ⟨ï⟩, or ⟨y⟩. The ⟨ɿ⟩ entry on the Obsolete and nonstandard symbols in the International Phonetic Alphabet page describes this as the high back unrounded vowel, with frication from the preceding consonant” (represented in IPA by [͡ɯ]), but that's a bit confusing when many instances of ⟨ɿ⟩ occur with another apparently-unaffricated vowel between the ⟨ɿ⟩ and the preceding consonant. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 00:22, 7 December 2016 (UTC)


Sturmgewehr88, you reverted my edit with the comment that: "User:Kwamikagami added this, and languages have no borders".
1) What kind of argument from authority is the appeal to Kwamikagami? I speak French, too...
2) Sure, languages don't have borders like that. However... is a wolverine a character in an important story or something? Because otherwise, I have trouble imagining why Miyako would not only have a word for "wolverine", but borrow it apparently straight from medieval Chinese without Japanese as an intermediary.
David Marjanović (talk) 11:25, 1 November 2015 (UTC)

That's OR. According to the source I used, gakspstu is "glouton". Also, Lewchew was once an independent kingdom with its own relations to China. — kwami (talk) 18:32, 1 November 2015 (UTC)
Kwami is a very active editor with extensive knowledge on this subject. Also, I don't know if wolverines have any cultural significance to these people, but giraffes don't naturally occur in England either. And to add to what Kwami pointed out below, the Sakishima Islands had been more in touch with China than Japan until very recently. ミーラー強斗武 (StG88ぬ会話) 21:26, 1 November 2015 (UTC)

Before reading this talk entry, I amended the entry to 'glutton,' with a footnote explaining that the French also could mean wolverine. Ignoring the natural range of wolverines or speculation about their cultural significance, in Pellard's thesis he explains that it is a compound of a Chinese borrowing meaning 'hungry ghost' and the normal Miyako word for person, pstu. Based on this alone, it seems better to list 'glutton' as the first meaning with a footnote mentioning wolverines rather than the reverse as it was before. A translation referring primarily to people but also applicable to wolverines (the English word 'glutton' can refer to wolverines as well, just as the French cognate) seems a less speculative translation than the more restrictive 'wolverine', especially given that English 'glutton' has the same polysemy as the French 'glouton.' Having now read the previous two talk entries discussing previous changes, I see no compelling reason to change it back to 'wolverine.' Based on the available source (Pellard) and the glossing therein, the direct translation 'glutton' with the identical polysemy as the French original is clearly the better supported translation than 'wolverine.' Ningakpok (talk) 06:18, 21 December 2015 (UTC)


Phonology is a fine place to start when describing a language, but I would like to see more about the grammar. Some basic typology with English-glossed example sentences would help readers get a sense of what the language is like. Using Google Translate, I can see the Japanese version of the article has some grammar information. Unfortunately, Google Translate mangles the technical linguistics terms on the page.

Also, the article asserts that Miyako is a language (語) of its own and not just a dialect (方言) of Japanese. The infobox on the Japanese article agrees with this classification as a separate language, despite the fact that the title of the Japanese article calls it a dialect. I assume this difference exists because "Miyako dialect" is the more common term and "Miyako language" is the more technically accurate term.

If that's true, it would be nice to see examples of the features that made linguists classify it as a member of the Ryukyuan languages and Southern Ryukyuan languages specifically. Sure, sometimes the distinction between dialects and languages can be a bit fuzzy and can be mixed up with nationalism and ethnic pride. But I hope that Wikipedia can provide facts and explanations that experts in the field generally agree on. (talk) 06:20, 9 April 2017 (UTC)