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JackKnightstick
2010-07-16, 18:30
Grammatically modern Japanese is closely related to Korean and through them Mongolic languages (in the Altaic Family), but that's about it.

Besides the words that are shared between Korean and Japanese that came from Chinese (which is significant), there does not seem to be much of a relationship between Japanese and any other language, definitely not Sinic languages (although they learned to write in Chinese, then modified the Chinese character to develop their own phonetic systems). As a result there is no agreement in academia.


Korean academics often try to show that Japanese are just Korean refugees from one of the Southern Korean kingdoms that was annihilated before Korea was unified, the Baekje, who Japan had extensive relations with. In reality it is true that much of the Japanese Royal family and upper-class immigrated from Korea, in fact this was documented in the Nihon Shogi (Japanese Historic Chronicle), but they were nowhere near the majority. They likely did affect the language, probably bringing in more Chinese vocabulary that was Koreanized, similar to the influence of Latin and Greek on almost every language in Europe.

Chinese scholars have long tried to prove that Japanese originated in China during the Qin or Han Dynasties. While there were many Chinese immigrants to Japan (at a much later period, around the Tang Dynasty) there is no evidence that in recorded history there was a large influx of Chinese that made up a ruling class. There is also no evidence that Chinese and Japanese are related (besides significant loan words, it is like saying that English was originally Latin, and because there is much Latin and other Romance languages in English the Anglo-Saxon elite was Roman. LOL). Most people outside of China disregard this theory.

However there is a theory that Japanese did originate in modern CHina, however, at that time the area was not under Han Chinese control, it was on the border of Korea, in Manchuria, a people called the Mohe.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohe

Genetic testing shows that Japanese people are closely related to Korean and Tungustic people more than anyone else, but they also have a significant bit of Ainu (aboriginal ancestry), that Koreans do not have. ON most genetic distance charts they fall between they fall to the upper right of Koreans, who are to the upper right of Han Chinese...but Japanese are pushed a bit to the Northeast

http://www.plosone.org/article/slideshow.action?uri=info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0003862&imageURI=info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0003862.t001#

However linguistics does not always run in parallel with genetics. The case of the Hungarian and Fins is telling, New World populations are even more telling.

Some think Korean and Japanese are isolates, like Ainu (aboriginal Japanese people and their langauge). Others argue that Japanese is a distant relatives, not of "modern Korean" , but of one of the three ancient Korean kingdoms, which was destroyed by the Silla (who basically founded modern Korea as one nation). This would be the Goguryeo (Koguryo) Kingdom, which was destroyed by China and Silla combined effort. The Koguryo langauge was much closer to the Tungusic peoples of Manchuria than modern Korean (and presumably the Silla language from which Modern Korean came).

This is off topic but there is more on that here:

https://www.msu.edu/~jk13/Abs.Beckwith.pdf

http://www.pliink.com/mt/marxy/archives/2007/01/koguryo-japanese.html

Beckwith actually wrote an entire book on his theory, but since there is limited evidence and most of the Old Japanese is more 'assumed' due to the fact they wrote in all Chinese characters at the time (although they did not speak Chinese), and there is limited writing left from the Goguryeo, his theory seems to have the most evidence backing it, although it is sparse.

I speak some Mandarin and Japanese (much more Mandarin than Japanese) but I can tell you the languages are not related.

Some folks say that some dialects of Chinese, like the Wu language group (which Shanghainese and Nanjingese belong to have some similar grammar to Japanese, but not really. Shanghainese sometimes displays a sentence structure with the verb at the end, like Japanese and Korean, but that is the only similarity.

Japanese and Korean are not tonal, they display a strongly distinct formal/informal language, verb endings are important to this, they have some limited tenses, etc. Chinese has none of that (no dialect of Chinese I"m aware of). Some say that some Japanese words sound like Cantonese. Sure they do, Cantonese is more archaic and closer to Middle Chinese than Mandarin, so since the Japanese got most of their Chinese influence from Middle Chinese and not modern Beijing centered Mandarin (which at the time was a barbarian Mongolic/Tungustic region) it makes sense that the Chinese words in Japanese and Cantonese share affinity...

Its like saying that because English has a lot of words like Norman French, that English is a Romance language, specifically a type of French. LOL

Although I don't really speak any Korean, from what I know from talking to Koreans and Japanese who speak each others langauge (usually Koreans who speak Japanese) they see Japanese as a simplified Korean, less sounds, slightly easier grammar.

I have no idea how Korean or Japanese match up with Tungustic languages like Manchu.

whitefan415
2010-07-20, 08:25
Korean academics often try to show that Japanese are just Korean refugees from one of the Southern Korean kingdoms that was annihilated before Korea was unified, the Baekje, who Japan had extensive relations with. In reality it is true that much of the Japanese Royal family and upper-class immigrated from Korea, in fact this was documented in the Nihon Shogi (Japanese Historic Chronicle), but they were nowhere near the majority.


Nihon Shogi never made any mention that Japanese Royal Family were from Korea. It did mention that one of the Tenno (Emperor) had a Bakjae mother. That's about it. Having said that, I do find Korean sounds somewhat similar to Japanese especially when they are quarreling in the speech but normally I do not have hard time distinguishing them.



Chinese scholars have long tried to prove that Japanese originated in China during the Qin or Han Dynasties.


It is the other way around that the ancient Japanese were very bent on believing they were linked with the Chinese. In Japan Wakayama prefecture, there were many Xu Fu temples and shrine built in commemorating the arrival of the Xu Fu and the people he brought with when no one knows for sure where Xu Fu exactly landed (Chinese source mentioned he landed in a place named "Tanzhou". There is speculation that Tanzhou might be correlated to Today's Japan but once again there is not enough evidence to substantiate). Also, according to San Guo Zhi (Records of Three Kingdom), there was an envoy sent to Japan from China . The envoy documented the the local Japanese informed they were the descendant of the Wu Kingdom of Spring and Autumn period.

JackKnightstick
2010-07-20, 13:10
Nihon Shogi never made any mention that Japanese Royal Family were from Korea. It did mention that one of the Tenno (Emperor) had a Bakjae mother. That's about it. Having said that, I do find Korean sounds somewhat similar to Japanese especially when they are quarreling in the speech but normally I do not have hard time distinguishing them.


This is true, I was referring to this, it was a bit controversial when the current Emperor said this publicly back in 2002, during the World Cup, but still they refer to allow historian and archeologist exam the Imperial tombs. :lol:

More importantly though I was referring to Chinese and Korean immigration, many of which became Japanese upperclass...for example my ex-wife's clan Sakurai, originated in China and moved to near Nara, now they are split in two, one group still lives near Osaka, the other is in Nagano.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kofun_period#Chinese_migration

I'm sorry for using Wiki, I don't have time to look up something more legit right now.


According to the book Shinsen Shōjiroku compiled in 815, a total 154 out of 1,182 noble families in the Kinai are on Honshū Island were regarded as people with foreign genealogy. The book specifically mentions 163 were from China, 104 such families from Baekje, 41 from Goguryeo, 6 from Silla, and 3 from Gaya.[6] They might be families that moved to Japan between the years A.D.356-645.

So there is more Korean blood in the Royal family than just one woman.




It is the other way around that the ancient Japanese were very bent on believing they were linked with the Chinese. In Japan Wakayama prefecture, there were many Xu Fu temples and shrine built in commemorating the arrival of the Xu Fu and the people he brought with when no one knows for sure where Xu Fu exactly landed (Chinese source mentioned he landed in a place named "Tanzhou". There is speculation that Tanzhou might be correlated to Today's Japan but once again there is not enough evidence to substantiate). Also, according to San Guo Zhi (Records of Three Kingdom), there was an envoy sent to Japan from China . The envoy documented the the local Japanese informed they were the descendant of the Wu Kingdom of Spring and Autumn period.

Yes this is true, but this was common, just as many "semi-barbaric" or fully "barbaric" groups in Europe would say they were related to Greeks or Romans through some "God" or founded by a Greek in ancient times, blah blah. This was common around Asia as well, in the past, it seems today, most nationalist are the opposite especially in Korea, in fact many there try to claim that Chinese characters, Confucius, etc were all Korean...LOL (another long story haha)

In reality everyone wants to be linked to a great power, China was like Rome, but was powerful far longer in the region.

The Tanzhou myth, the Looking for the Fountain of Youth, blah blah, it is all unsubstantiated. Reality was, at that time, Chinese didn't even have Taiwan on a map. LOL they were not very big on sea travel until later on, they were a very much land based Empire (for most of their history actually).

As far as the WU, I read that there were some similarities, such as sharpening of the teeth, which many Wu aboriginals did, also the fact that, even today Shanghainese (a Wu language) often places the verb at the end of the sentences.

I think it is possible that some Chinese from that region came to Japan, it is just, questionable to me did they really contribute much to Yayoi/Yamato culture. In appears that Japan was far from unified and there were people living in Kyushu who were not related to the Yayoi, who may not have been related to the Ainu (or other left-overs of the Jomon...no one knows...)

Genetic test are not exactly conclusive, we know that the majority of Japanese (especially on the male side) don't share the most common male haplogroups with Chinese and there is definitely a strong aboriginal substrata. That being said, there is heavy overlap between Northern Chinese, Japanese, and Koreans, still autosomal test can separate them, but that tells us nothing about the ruling class in ancient times...

Doing genetic test on the Imperial tomb remains would, but don't hold your breath for that. haha

Zupan
2010-07-20, 15:09
Heres the solution to their differences with chinese/korean; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ainu_people#Language

Malcolm Z
2010-07-20, 15:16
Heres the solution to their differences with chinese/korean; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ainu_people#Language

From a lingusitical POV, Japanese is more similar to Korean than to Ainu language. At least the grammar is so. Still, all these languages aren't that similar to each other (and much lesser to Chinese, from which Japanese and Korean only got the alphabet, and Korean got rid of that post-WWII). At least when compared to the similarity seen in Indo-European or Semitic languages. East Asian languages are more isolate from each other (the same is true, to a lesser degree, for genetics).

JackKnightstick
2010-07-20, 15:20
From a lingusitical POV, Japanese is more similar to Korean than to Ainu language. At least the grammar is so. Still, all these languages aren't that similar to each other (and much lesser to Chinese, from which Japanese and Korean only got the alphabet, and Korean got rid of that post-WWII). At least when compared to the similarity seen in Indo-European or Semitic languages. East Asian languages are more isolate from each other (the same is true, to a lesser degree, for genetics).

East Asian languages are older and the geography is far greater, so the populations have been in relative isolation for each other for awhile.

Europe is a very small place and most of the major families have had constant contact with each other and only separated some 2500 years ago.

2500 years ago Japanese had long been separate from whatever it was related to, Chinese dialects had long been separated from Tibetan, etc.

Most modern dialects of Chinese were already formed or beginning to by then as well...

Middle East is also a small place and Semitic languages have long overlapped, one replacing another as a lingua franca absorbing bits of the previous...


Chinese is a different language family, comparing that to Japanese or Korean is like comparing English to Arabic and Turkish.

Japanese and Korean may be related (I believe they are, but have been separated for some 3,000 years maybe), in any case the difference between them is not Ainu.

Even before the Yayoi stretched from Southern Honshu/Northern Kyushu out and absorbed many Ainu groups to the North of them...Old Japanese was distinct from the Korean Silla language.

Malcolm Z
2010-07-20, 16:53
Japanese and Korean may be related (I believe they are, but have been separated for some 3,000 years maybe), in any case the difference between them is not Ainu.

Even before the Yayoi stretched from Southern Honshu/Northern Kyushu out and absorbed many Ainu groups to the North of them...Old Japanese was distinct from the Korean Silla language.

It's not Ainu, but it may be another Jomon-descended group (Tsuchigumo? Kumaso? Emishi? Ryukyu? Ashihase?). I think the Tsuchigumo ('dirt spiders' in Japanese), who lived in Western Japan and were the first to be conquered by the Yamato/Yayoi could be a possibility. If you believe they suffered genocide (like the Nihon Shoki says. I personally don't believe it was possible with the technology of the time), then the Kumaso, who resisted and were made subjects later, could be a possibility as well.

http://emishi-ezo.net/Natives.htm

Of course, just the distance between Korea and Japan could be enough for a natural differentiation between the languages. Afrikaner and Dtuch separated just in 400 years, imagine what could happen in thousands.

whitefan415
2010-07-20, 17:50
http://www.kahaku.go.jp/special/past/japanese/ipix/5/5-14.html

The author of this Japanese website seem to buy into the theory that Yayoi originated solely in Eastern part of China.

I think Yayoi people were a collection of people coming from different sources. Eastern part of China might be just one of them. The horse rider theory from North Asia continent proposed by Japanese Archeologist Egami also has some ground. I went to Japan before I saw many Japanese have extreme North Asian feature (like the attached) which I do not commonly find in Northern Chinese or Korean.