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The Languages of Japan

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  27 ratings  ·  1 review
A survey of the two main indigenous languages of Japan includes the most comprehensive study of the polysynthetic Ainu language yet to appear in English as well as a comprehensive analysis of Japanese linguistics.
Paperback, 428 pages
Published March 5th 1990 by Cambridge University Press
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Christopher
Jul 20, 2007 rated it really liked it
Masayoshi Shibatani's THE LANGUAGES OF JAPAN, an entry in the Cambridge Language Surveys series, covers but two languages within its pages: Ainu and Japanese. The book is especially valuable for its inclusion of the former, as until recently little scholarship had been done on English on this endangered minority language of northern Japan.

I was especially pleased with Shibitani's survey because it is refreshingly diachronic. His first concern in presenting each language is to summarize the vario
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