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Kesen dialect

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Kesen dialect

Kesen
keseng̃ó / ケセン語
Native to Japan
Region Iwate Prefecture: Ōfunato, Rikuzentakata, and Sumita.
Native speakers
74,000  (date missing)
Japonic
Language codes
ISO 639-3
Glottolog kese1237[1]

Kesen dialect (気仙方言 Kesen hōgen) or Kesen (ケセン語 Kesengo, Keseng̃ó) is a dialect of Japanese spoken in Kesen County, Iwate Prefecture, Japan.

Kesen has been described by Harutsugu Yamaura (山浦玄嗣 Yamaura Harutsugu). Yamaura considers Kesen an independent language, related to both Japanese and Ainu languages, but this is not accepted by other linguists.[2]

Kesen

Kesen is in common use for speech in Kesen County, but was unwritten until Harutsugu Yamaura developed a writing system in 1986 (see below). Unlike the Ryukyuan languages in Okinawa, the status of Kesen as an independent language, rather than a dialect, is disputed.[2]

Harutsugu Yamaura

Harutsugu Yamaura

Iwate language activist and medical doctor Harutsugu Yamaura described the dialect in various books, including a dictionary, a grammar, and a translation of the New Testament. Yamaura also created an orthography for Kesen using two writing systems, the first based on the Latin script, and the second on the Japanese writing system. Yamaura has forwarded the theory Kesen should not be considered a Japanese dialect, but an independent language in its own right with an Ainu substrate, a theory that is controversial.[2]

According to Yamaura, Kesen was strongly influenced by the Emishi language. The word Kesen, for instance, comes from the Ainu term kese moy (cove at the south tip) and kese ma (scraped place). Yamaura considered the conventional Japanese kanji for Kesen (気仙) an ateji imposed by Yamato Kingdom. Therefore used katakana, a writing system for foreign words, to spell the name (ケセン).

Yamaura's effort to describe Kesen and restore people's pride in their local speech is an example of efforts springing up all over Japan,[3]:14 where the education system has resulted in the stigmatization of local dialects, which children were forbidden to use.[3]:7 However, such efforts are routinely depicted in the Japanese media as "romantic, bizarre or quaint".[3]:14 Yamaura's work has been recommended by Japanese linguists as a model to be followed for other dialects.[2]

Example

The beginning of the Gospel of Matthew, the fifth chapter.

  • Kesen
In Latin alphabet:
Sonadǎdo mo kig'i dér dar tōri, —Managú ni a managû. Ha ní a hǎ— 'te kadarar'er déru. N' dar domó, ora á kadar' té ogu. Warumono ní hamugawú na. Daré ga a sonada á mig̃iri no hottabû hadag'í dara, hindári no hottabú mo dasí-nare.
In Japanese characters:
其方等(そなだァど)()いでだ(とォ)り、「(まなぐ)にァ(まなぐ)ゥ。()にァ()ァ」って(かだ)らィでる。んだども、自分(おら)(かだ)っておぐ。悪者(わるもの)刃向(はむ)がうな。(だれ)がぁ其方(そなだ)(みぎり)(ほったぶ)(はで)ァだら、(ひんだり)(ほったぶ)()なれ。
In Romaji:
"Me ni wa me o, ha ni wa ha o" to ieru koto aru o nanjira kikeri. Saredo ware wa nanjira ni tsugu, ashiki mono ni temukau na. Hito moshi nanji no migi no hō o utaba, hidari o mo muke yo.
In Japanese characters:
にはを、にはを」とへることあるをなんぢけり。されどわれなんぢらにぐ、しきもの抵抗てむかふな。ひともしなんぢみぎほゝをうたば、ひだりをもけよ。
  • English (Bible (King James)/Matthew)
Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

Further reading

  • Harutsugu Yamaura (1986) ケセン語入門 (Kesen-go Nyūmon, The Kesen language introduction). Kyōwa Insatsu Kikaku Center.
  • Harutsugu Yamaura (1988) ケセンの詩 (Kesen no Uda, The Kesen songs). Kyōwa Insatsu Kikaku Center.
  • Harutsugu Yamaura (2000) ケセン語大辞典 (Kesen-go Daijiten, The Great Kesen Dictionary). Mumyōsha Shuppan. ISBN 4-89544-241-1
  • Harutsugu Yamaura (2002) ケセン語訳新約聖書(1) マタイによる福音書 (Kesen-go-yaku Shin'yaku Seisho Ichi, Matai ni Yoru Fukuinsho, The New Testament in Kesen Language (1), The Gospel of Matthew), E-Pix Shuppan. ISBN 4-901602-02-0
  • Harutsugu Yamaura (2003) ケセン語訳新約聖書(2) マルコによる福音書 (Kesen-go-yaku Shin'yaku Seisho Ni, Maruko ni Yoru Fukuinsho, The New Testament in Kesen Language (2), The Gospel of Mark), E-Pix Shuppan. ISBN 4-901602-04-7
  • Harutsugu Yamaura (2003) ケセン語訳新約聖書(3) ルカによる福音書 (Kesen-go-yaku Shin'yaku Seisho San, Ruka ni Yoru Fukuinsho, The New Testament in Kesen Language (3), The Gospel of Luke), E-Pix Shuppan. ISBN 4-901602-06-3
  • Harutsugu Yamaura (2004) ケセン語訳新約聖書(4) ヨハネによる福音書 (Kesen-go-yaku Shin'yaku Seisho Yon, Yohane ni Yoru Fukuinsho, The New Testament in Kesen Language (4), The Gospel of John), E-Pix Shuppan. ISBN 4-901602-07-1
  • Harutsugu Yamaura (2004) ケセン語の世界 (Kesen-go no Sekai, The World of Kesen Language), Meiji Shoin. ISBN 978-4-625-43400-6

References

  1. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Kesen". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  2. ^ a b c d Shinji Sanada and Yukio Uemura (2007). "Japanese dialects and Ryukyuan". In Osahito Miyaoka, Osamu Sakiyama and  
  3. ^ a b c Tessa Carroll (2001). "Chapter 1. Changing attitudes: dialects versus the standard language in Japan". In Thomas E. McAuley. Language Change in East Asia. Routledge. pp. 7–24.  

External links

  • (Japanese) Harutsugu Yamaura from E-Pix official website.
  • (Japanese) The Great Kesen Dictionary from Mumyōsha official website.
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