By John R. Bentley
The oldest written level of the japanese language varieties the topic of John Bentley's vital quantity. The underlying texts (also provided the following) are these of the spiritual liturgies (norito) and imperial edicts (A.D. 685). half one bargains with the liturgies, the writing procedure, texts, and phonology and the relationship challenge. the most chapters of the publication are an outline of nominals, verbs, verbal suffixes, auxiliary verbs, debris, and conjunctions. A bankruptcy at the lexicon, detailing many hapax legomena and fascinating phrases, makes this right into a significant reference paintings on early jap.
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Extra info for A Descriptive Grammar of Early Old Japanese Prose (Brill's Japanese Studies Library)
Because of this, I have relied on Torao's own text. When there have been errors, I have corrected the text myself according to the various texts. As a good example, for OJ pey Torao consistently has but looking at the various data, it seems clear to me that the archetype actually spelled this syllable with the variant graph . " When other information is available, it should be put to good use in textual editing. Concerning the problem noted above regarding spelling and our imaginary text, all but one manuscript had the spelling with s, the odd-man-out manuscript having c.
What unetymological spellings remain are likely due to human error. The next chart (figure 6) outlines the twelve major phonological groups, the number of times each phonogram is used, and how many times the spellings are either etymological (right) or unetymological (wrong). There are 15 non-etymological spellings. 17%. Of course because of the high ratio of etymological spellings of to and no (case markers), some may distrust these figures, claiming these data are somewhat misleading. Even if we drop these two phonograms from the calculations, the figures of accurate, etymological spellings remain impressive: 299:15 (95%).
Next consider the following wooden tablet, discovered from a dig at the ancient capital of Nara: MEY mo myizu aru po MURAZI kiy ga koto wo sigeymyl kamo myiya no_ uti karete.... " Okimori and Sato (1994:112) interpret this passage differently, taking into account the repeat sign above the graph . " Interestingly, the word for 'eye' is written with a semantogram , but most of the rest of the sentence is composed in phonograms. This suggests that a word could be written either with a semantogram, or with a phonogram(s) according to the discretion of the writer.