World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Hokkaido dialects

Article Id: WHEBN0035701262
Reproduction Date:

Title: Hokkaido dialects  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Japanese language, Hokkaido, Japanese dialects, Japanese irregular verbs, Classical Japanese language
Collection: Hokkaido, Japanese Dialects
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Hokkaido dialects

Hokkaido dialect
Native to Japan
Region Hokkaido
Native speakers
(no estimate available)
Language codes
ISO 639-3
Glottolog hokk1249[2]

The dialect or dialects of Hokkaido (北海道方言 Hokkaidō-hōgen), commonly called Hokkaidō-ben (北海道弁), originate in relatively recent settlement from mainland Japan. The greater part of Hokkaidō was settled from a mix of areas from the Meiji period on, especially from the Tōhoku and Hokuriku regions, so various Japanese dialects mixed together on Hokkaidō.

The relationship of Hokkaidō dialect to the rest of Japanese—and whether there even is a coherent Hokkaidō dialect—are debated. Shibata (2003) mentions three theories:[1]

  1. Inland varieties are part of Kantō dialect, while coastal varieties are part of Tōhoku dialect
  2. There is a single Hokkaidō dialect, which is a distinct branch of Eastern Japanese
  3. There is a Hokkaidō dialect, but it descends from Niigata dialect (one of the Tōkai–Tōsan dialects), a transitional form with Western Japanese features.

Tōhoku influence is strongest in coastal areas, especially on Oshima Peninsula in the south, where the local variety is commonly called Hama-kotoba (浜言葉, seashore speech). The urban dialect of Sapporo is quite close to Standard Japanese. Western features may have been brought by merchants from Kansai and Hokuriku with the kitamaebune trade routes.

Also spoken on Hokkaidō is the Ainu language, which was widely spoken there before Japanese settlement and still has a few elderly speakers.


  • The -re imperative form for ichidan verbs and s-irregular verb instead of Standard form -ro
  • The volitional and presumptive suffix -be; from Tohoku dialect
  • The presumptive suffix -sho or -ssho; contraction of Standard polite presumptive form deshō
  • tōkibi for "corn" instead of Standard tōmorokoshi; also used in many Japanese dialects
  • shibareru for "to freeze, freezing cold" instead of Standard kogoeru; from Tohoku dialect
  • nageru for "to throw away" instead of Standard suteru; from Tohoku dialect; nageru means "to throw" in Standard
  • waya for "fruitless, no good" instead of Standard dame; from Western Japanese
  • shitakke for casual "good-bye" or "then" instead of Standard (sore) ja
  • namara for "very" instead of Standard totemo; since the 1970s from Niigata dialect


  1. ^ a b Takeshi Shibata, in 月刊言語 Gekkan Gengo, January 2003, vol. 32, no. 1, pp 26–29
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Hokkaido dialect". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.