Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Lingustic Confusion

Certain areas of Japan that are inhabited by the Ainu show studies of distribution of places names in the Ainu language.  This is said to be the case because there are phonological studies in linguistics which strongly indicate that:
"... some similarity between the Ainu and the Celtic language in respect of places names: 'petsu' in the Ainu language and 'perth' or 'firth' in the Gaelic language are phonetically similar."
Though it has been speculated, it is highly unlikely that the Celtic culture is related to the Ainu culture (Fukasawa, 1998).

Fukasawa, Yuriko
        1998    Ainu Archaeology as Ethnohistory: Iron technology among the Saru Ainu of Hokkaido, Japan, in the 17th Century. Oxford, England: British Archaeology Reports.


  1. Found your website via google.
    What are you quoting here?
    It's interesting that the quote tries to draw similarities with "petsu" as an Ainu place name, because there is no "tsu" sound in the Ainu language. Most likely they are talking about place names where the original Ainu is "pet" (river) which became "betsu" in Japanese (紋別、登別、幕別、etc.)

  2. I'm just quoting from a book I found from the library. I'm not Japanese or Ainu so I wouldn't have known that the language does not have any 'tsu' sounds in the language.

    Also, I am by no means trying to do what your company is doing either. This blog was set up as a project with my term paper.

    If you have any questions I will gladly give you my professor's email address.

  3. Ah I see.
    Maybe it would be helpful if you could list the title of the book as well?

    A lot of information available about the Ainu is outdated (such as the other quote about it being "widely accepted that the Ainu are proto-Caucasian" - this is no longer the case), and this is especially true in the case of English sources.

    I guess it is helpful to know what information was available in the past, but it would be helpful to be able to discern the accuracy of the information... Also it would be helpful if we were more able to differentiate which part is the quote and which part is your commentary.

    Best of luck!

  4. I should point out that when we were given this assignment I was not aware that the general public would be viewing my blog. Yes, I had set it up as if some stranger would come across it, but I never expected anyone other than my professor and a few friends would read this blog. If you really want me to post the book that I found this quote from I will gladly do it, it's just I saw no point if my professor will find out the title through my bibliography anyways.

    Also, there wasn't much I could do about the outdated sources. I had a hard time trying to find enough scholarly articles, journals, and books about the Ainu already and this is all I could get. Another thing is, since I am based in Canada and not Japan, the university I go to did not have a lot to choose from on the Japanese, the Ainu specifically.

    But I would like to thank you for your suggestions and am sorry if any of this incorrect data has offended you. I'm only posting from what little resource I have with me.