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The Vowel e in Satsugu Dialect in the Eighteenth Century : Based on Ronichi tangoshu

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Other Title
  • 『露日単語集』に基づく18世紀薩隅方言のエ列音
  • ロニチ タンゴシュウ ニ モトヅク 18セイキ サツグウ ホウゲン ノ エレツオン

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Abstract

Ronichi tangoshu is a Russian-Japanese vocabulary, which is said to be written by Gonza, a man from Satsuma who drifted to Russia by boat in the 18th century. In the vocabulary, two letters were used to represent the vowels which correspond to /e/ in the present-day Satsugu Dialect : 'e' and 'Б', for example, eдa (eda 'branch'), Бкаки (ekaki 'painter'). In this paper, by examining the use of these two letters in Ronichi tangoshu, the Russian orthographical system at that time and the phonological system in the present-day Satsugu Dialect, I conclude that there were phonological distinctions between /e^1/ and /e^2/ in the syllables e (at word-initial position), ke, ge, se, ze, te, de, ne, be and me in the Satsugu Dialect in the 18th century, and one or both of /e^1/ and /e^2/ were palatalized. This conclusion is significant for the reconstruction of the history of the Japanese phonological system.

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