The Journal of Japanese Studies



j. marshall unger
Layers of Words and Volcanic Ash in Japan and Korea

Proto-Japanese was not spoken in Japan during the Jōmon period, yet archaeologists doubt that Japanese was introduced by conquest just prior to the first large tumuli.  But if proto-Korean-Japanese accompanied the introduction of Yayoi techniques, the rise of Kofun culture may nevertheless have witnessed significant linguistic changes.  A number of uncommon or semantically narrow Japanese words have Korean cognates, yet more common or broader near-synonyms do not.  A Koguryŏ, Paekche, or Tungusic cognate is often found instead.  Such word-pairs suggest an adstratum of borrowings.  Early Yamato seems to have been more willing than Silla to adopt words from its neighbors.

Volume 27, Number 1 (Winter 2001)
2001 Society for Japanese Studies


Marie Anchordoguy and Kevin M. Doak, Coeditors     Martha L. Walsh, Managing Editor
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