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University of Ljubljana


Acta Lingüistica Asiatica

Volume 1, Number 1, May 2011

Acta Linguistica Asiatica

Volume 1, Number 1, May 2011

Editors: Andrej Bekeš, Mateja Petrovčič

Editorial Board: Bi Yanli (China), Cao Hongquan (China), Luka Culiberg (Slovenia), Tamara Ditrich (Slovenia), Kristina Hmeljak Sangawa (Slovenia), Ichimiya Yufuko (Japan), Terry Andrew Joyce (Japan), Jens Karlsson (Sweden), Lee Yong (Korea), Arun Prakash Mishra (India), Nagisa Moritoki Škof (Slovenia), Nishina Kikuko (Japan), Sawada Hiroko (Japan), Chikako Shigemori Bučar (Slovenia), Irena Srdanovic (Japan).

© University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts, 2011 All rights reserved.

Published by: Znanstvena založba Filozofske fakultete Univerze v Ljubljani (Ljubljana University Press, Faculty of Arts)

Issued by: Department of Asian and African Studies

For the publisher: Valentin Bucik, the dean of the Faculty of Arts

Journal is licensed under a

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0).

Journal's web page:


Journal is published in the scope of Open Journal Systems ISSN: 2232-3317

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Acta Linguistica Asiatica is indexed in the COBISS database. Publication is free of charge.


University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts Department of Asian and African Studies Aškerčeva 2, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia

E-mail: mateja.petrovcic@ff.uni-lj.si

Table of contents


Research Articles

The Relation Between the View on the Language and Educational Ideology in the Early Meiji Period in Japan Through the Discourse of Regionalism

ICHIMIYA Yufuko..................................................................................................9-22

Towards a Theoretical Approach to the Understanding of Language Ideologies in Post-Meiji Japan

Luka CULIBERG...................................................................................................23-38

Images of Pre-WW II: National Language Policies as Reflected in the Field of "National Language Studies" Itself

Andrej BEKES.......................................................................................................39-52

Morphology and Syntax in Holes and Scratches: The Latest Stage of Kugyol Research

LEE Yong...............................................................................................................53-70

The Typology of Amredita Compounds in the Rgveda

Tamara DITRICH...................................................................................................71-84

Collocational Relations in Japanese Language Textbooks and Computer-assisted Language Learning Resources

Irena SRDANOVIC................................................................................................85-98


Here is the first issue of the new journal, Acta Lingüistica Asiatica, published by the Department of Asian and African Studies, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana. Its appearance is approximately timed to commemorate the 15 years since the establishment of the Department on October 1st, 1995. In step with the developments in media and new modes of dissemination of the results of scholarly research, it is introduced as an on-line electronic publication.

In the past 15 years, Asian Studies which were initially represented by Chinese and Japanese Studies, seem to have established a firm foothold in Slovenia. In addition to the existing Chinese Studies and Japanese Studies, the University of Ljubljana introduced in December 2010 new academic areas of Turkish Studies, Iranian Studies, Indian Studies and Korean Studies, thus giving green light to the establishment of systematic research of Asian issues within a wider framework.

In the meantime, the body of researchers specializing in Asian languages has also grown, including teachers, visiting professors, researchers and graduate students who cover a wide spectrum of research fields.

Also, the recent reform of higher education along the Bologna guidelines, although criticized, has happily brought into existence the interdisciplinary Doctoral Program in Humanities and Social Sciences and within its fold, the joint Doctoral program in Linguistics.

The Journal Acta Lingüistica Asiatica is thus emerging in a period of lively ferment, where unifying the field of discourse within language studies and at the same time opening it more widely to research in humanities and social sciences will undoubtedly have a long term impact on Asian language research at the University of Ljubljana.

Serving as a focal point of research on Asian languages in Slovenia, Acta Lingüistica Asiatica will at the same time strive to promote cooperation in the field of Asian language research internationally in Europe, Asia and beyond.

Acta Lingüistica Asiatica will, following Roman Jakobson's saying, "Linguista sum, linguistici nihil a me alienum puto", cover all the subject areas and theoretical approaches pertaining to theoretical and applied research on Asian languages. An international editorial board takes care of the research quality of the journal.

The contents of the first issue reflect this orientation and openness. Three papers deal with various aspects of the role played by language in the process of modernization during and after Meiji Japan, i.e., The Relation Between the View on the Language and Educational Ideology in the Early Meiji Period in Japan Through the

Discourse of Regionalism by Ichimiya Yufuko, Towards Theoretical Approach to the Understanding of Language Ideologies in Post-Meiji Japan by Luka Culiberg, and Images of Pre-WW II: National Language Policies as Reflected in the Field of "National Language Studies " Itself by Andrej Bekeš.

Another focus of interest is philological, represented by two papers. One is Morphology and Syntax in Holes and Scratches: The Latest Stage of Kugyol Research, an interesting research on kugyol, a system devised to facilitate reading Chinese Buddhist texts in Korean, by Lee Yong. The other, The Typology of Amredita Compounds in the Rgveda by Tamara Ditrich, investigates amredita compounds in the Rgveda, a type of coordinative nominal constructions, closely related to dvandva compounds.

Finally, this issue is concluded with the article Collocational Relations in Japanese Language Textbooks and Computer-assisted Language Learning Resources, by Irena Srdanovic and deals with the teaching of collocations in modern Japanese, based on corpora.

Andrej Bekeš

University of Ljubljana and University of Tsukuba

April 23, 2011


The Relation Between the View on the Language


Japan Through the Discourse of Regionalism


University of Ljubljana yfk138@gmail.com


In this article, the Japanese language situation in early Meiji period will be analyzed from the viewpoint of the provinces. In concrete terms, the origin of the idea that "an opaque language yields an unlcear ideology" - we can often find such a discourse through Meiji, Taisho and early Showa period - will be searched for by using primary sources in northern Kyushu, the southern part of Japan. This kind of idea can be seen in the writings of teachers and professors. Consequently, educational theories and teaching methods which had spread over the country in that period will be clues to analyze this subject. Moreover, I will try to compare the concept of "opaque language" in the Taisho period, during which dialects were considered as the representative example of such a language, with what was considered "opaque language" in the early Meiji period, when the definition of dialect and the concrete form of the standard language were still vague.


national language policy, vernacular, opaque language, educational thought, late 19th century Japan


V članku bom analizirala jezikovno situacijo v zgodnjem obdobju Meiji z vidika podeželja. Konkretno rečeno, bom izvor ideje, da "nejasen jezik ustvarja nejasno ideologijo" - skozi obdobja Meiji, Taisho in zgodnje obdobje Showa je bil tak diskurz precej pogost - raziskala z uporabo primarnih virov iz severnega Kyushuja na jugu Japonske. Taka ideja se pogosto pojavlja v besedilih učiteljev in profesorjev, zato bodo teorije izobraževanja in učne metode, ki so se razširile po deželi v tistem času, ključ do analize tega predmeta. Nadalje bom poskušala primerjati koncept "nejasnega jezika" v obdobju Taisho, ko so primer takega jezika predstavljala narečja, s tem, kar je "nejasen jezik" pomenil v zgodnjem obdobju Meiji, ko sta bili definicija narečja in konkretna oblika standardnega jezika še zelo nejasni.

Ključne besede

politika nacionalnega jezika, narečje, nejasen jezik, ideologija izobraževanja, konec 19. stoletja na Japonskem

Acta Lingüistica Asiatica, Vol. 1, No. 1, 2011. ISSN: 2232-3317 http://revije.ff.uni-lj.si/ala/index

1. Introduction

A number of scientific researches carried out from 1990 onwards have sought to explain the development of the "Japanese national language" which was a result of the formation of the Japanese nation state and a clear political doctrine in Modern Japan. In the present study, the issues regarding the "Japanese national language" of that period will be discussed from the point of view of regionalism with reference to the above mentioned researches. I am going to put special emphasis on the standard Japanese language, one of the central issues of the national language policy, on its function and diffusion in the inland areas of Japan. Furthermore, I intend to examine the linguistic history of Modern Japan - a topic already presented in other scientific researches - from a deeper perspective by contrasting the ideas of the Japanese govenment and intellectuals, the creators of the Japanese national language scheme, with the ideas of the general public living in the provincial areas in Modern Japan.

More specifically, I am going to focus on the analysis of the situation in the educational system of the Oita prefecture. This is due to the fact that at the time the issue of the Japanese national language was mostly discussed within the context of education, which is why most of the sources published within that region are also related to education.

In 1914, the magazine Chuokoron (Central Review) published a dissertation by Mukai Gunji, a professor from Keio University. In the light of the outbreak of the First World War, his article was an attempt to re-define the concept of "national education" and it can be said that it offered a view on the language of that period in Japan:

... Clear thoughts go hand in hand with a developed language. Likewise, a developed language can yield clear thoughts. On the other hand, if the language is unclear and if consequently the thoughts cannot develop sufficiently, the opacity of the language results in the opacity of the thoughts. In our country, the lanugage of the people in the Tohoku region is extremely opaque. If one tries to look inside the heads of those people, one can see that not only their language, but also their thoughts are not clear. This phenomenon results from the fact that because a clear language has not illuminated the intellect, the latter does not develop as it should. Therefore it can be said that those countries where the language is not properly developed have reached a lower level of civilization compared to the countries with a developed language. (Mukai, 1914, p.56)

To summarize Mukai's view on the language: clear thoughts can developed from a clear language, which proves that the intellect is developed too. Furthermore, countries with a developed language have reached a high level of civilization. On the contrary, an opaque language hampers the development of the intellect, which then result in unclear thoughts. Therefore, it can be said that languages in underdeveloped countries are also underdeveloped. In other words, Mukai claims that the language has a proportional effect on the thoughts and the intellect, and consequently also on the development of a civilization.

It also should be noted that the language spoken in the Tohoku region - the Tohoku dialect - is presented as an "opaque language". In other words, dialects are seen as typical examples of "opaque, underdeveloped and uncivilised" languages. Thus, from the point of view of the "national education" as described by Mukai - a system which treats the nation as a big uniform group and seeks to eradicate differences between individuals -, dialects were not only criticised for hindering the development of the ideas and the intellect - the idea in Modern Japan was also to decrease the diversity of the dialects across different regions.

Mukai's strong emphasis on the idea that "an opaque language yields an opaque ideology" serves as the basis for the homogenization of dialects. During the first 20 years of the Meiji Period, when the definition of "dialect" was still vague, some elementary school teachers expressed similar ideas:

...If the language is opaque or incoherent, ideas and thougts are also opaque or

incoherent. Such language also affects written expression. (Mino, 1888, p.7)

... Students can also evaluate their ideas through the quality of their language.

(Matsubara, 1888)

We can detect two different tendecies in all the ideas mentioned above. One of them is the search of a basis for correlation between the language and the development of ideology, and idea supported by the discourse related to the field of education. The other is the effort to explain the concept of an "opaque language" or, in other words, a language that needs to be homogenized within the context of the Modern Japan where the definition of a dialect and the concrete form of the standard language were still vague.

In the present dissertation, I am going to rely on secondary sources to outline general characteristics of the situation in the sphere of language in the Meiji Period in Japan. Moreover, I am going to analyse the view on the language shared by the teachers active in the provincial areas within the context of the educational ideology of that period. In doing so, I am going to refer to the discourses of that period which deal with the correlation between the language and the ideology. Furthermore, on the basis of the school administration regulations, I am going to speculate about the lingustic elements that were thought better to be avoided at schools. My primary sources mainly consist of the reports and essays published or reprinted in Oita kyoritsu kyoiku zasshi, an exclusive publication intended for the teachers active in the Oita prefecture.

2. Language in the Early Meiji Period in Japan

Most experts agree that the year 1900 represents a milestone for the issue of the "national language"in Modern Japan. It was the year when a temporary Ministry of Education founded the Board for National Language, and the Japanese language was introduced as a subject in primary schools, which also led to the creation of Japanese

language textbooks. A systematic creation of the "Japanese national language" was under way. In the Early Meiji Period, which is the subject of the present dissertation, the ideology that propelled the above mentioned systematization of the national language was still at a developing stage. Also, the general view on dialects in the early Meiji Period differed from that in the second half of the Meiji period.

One of the characteristics of the general stance on dialects in the early Meiji Period is that the essential question regarding the definition of a dialect remained unanswered. Here, I would like to focus on two concrete examples.

In 1880, a Public Lecture on Dialects Across Regions was held at the Imperial University. Students, including Tanakadate Aikitsu and Inoue Enryo - both intellectuals in the making and highly influential in the language policy later on - held speeches in their dialects. However, what these speakers stressed were the similarities between their languages and the language spoken in Tokyo. Also, they claimed that the lexical, inflectional, accentual and other such differences existed due to social and gender differences originating from the class system of the Edo Period (Osa, 1998, p.156).

The other example are articles about dialects published in magazines all around the country. Such publications became very frequent in the first 20 years of the Meiji Period. Due to the methodology used in those articles, they were not particularly acclaimed in the academic circles, but they still gave to the readers an opportunity to become acquainted with a different world outside their own regions, and inspired them to reflect on their own language (Yasuda, 1999, p.43). There were also studies on dialects published in different regions in that period, but most of them were merely collections of words. Among those publications is also the official report on the results of a study on dialects ordered by the government which, however, also does not include a description of the structure of a dialect or its phonetic system but only contains a list of nouns. In contrast with a national dialect survey performed in 1902 by the State Committee for Japanese Language Research, aiming to spread the standard Japanese language and considering dialects as an enemy that needs to be destroyed (Lee, 1996, p. 144), the studies mentioned above prove that the researchers actually did not operate with a common concept of dialect or a common concept of classification (Osa, 1998, p.159).

However, in certain discourses, dialects are also regared as a linguistic issue. For example, in Shuisho, a study of dialects by a group of different authors with Miyake Yonekichi in the pivotal role, the dialect is seen as a result of the barrier created due to geographical factors and the feudal system (Miyake, 1929, p.849). However, that barrier can gradually be lifted, since the progress of the society and technology offers things like steamboats, trains and telegraphs. Osa (1998, p.161) analyses this point of view as follows: What is important here is that although Miyake, who stresses the progress of the society, sees dialects as a linguistic phenomenon resulting from the Japanese feudal system, he does not consider it as a problem that needs to be solved.

Thus it can be said that in that particular period dialects were not necessarily seen as a subject that has to be homogenized, changed and eradicated like later on during the movement for the unification of the written and spoken styles of the Japanese language. Some authors, for example Aota Misao in his Reformation of Dialect (Hogenkairyoron s, 1888), supported a planned disintegration of dialects. However, as Yasuda (1999, p.53) points out, this was more an expression of exasperation over the fact that people from different regions find it hard to communicate, rather than a manifesto for the unification of the Japanese lanugage for reasons of good taste.

To summarize, this part of my study offers a reflection on the situation in the sphere of language in the early Meiji Period from the perspective of dialects. It can be said that in this period, the concept of "dialect" representing a contrast to the concept of "the standard language" was not yet formed. Moreover, the definition of a dialect was not yet formulated, and the initiatives to eradicate dialects were not as intense as later on.

3. The Relation Between the Language and Ideology in the Sphere of Education

First, I would to like to return to Mukai's stance on language which was discussed at the beginning. According to Mukai (1914), an opaque language, typically represented by a dialect, yields an unlcear ideology. And, as it was discussed in the previous part of this study, the same stance could frequently be found in the first 20 years of the Meiji Period, when the position of dialects within the scope of the "national language issue" was not yet clear.

In this section, I am first going to discuss in detail the study written by the elementary school teachers from the Oita prefecture in 1888. I am also going to attempt to make a connection between the methods of education of that time and Mukai's formula described above.

3.1 The Stance of the Provincial School Teachers -Mino Teizo1: The Importance of Language Practice (Gengo renshu no hitsuyo)

At the beginning of his study, the author, Mino Teizo (1888) treats "text" and "language", or, in other words, "written language" and "spoken languagae" as means of expressing ideas. Furthermore, the author claims that the education is crucial for the development of these two elements, but he also warns about the neglect of the "spoken language":

1 The surname is written in Chinese characters which have two possible pronunciations, Mino or Yoshino, but no information is given as to how his surname was pronounced.

Ever since early times, our country has emphasized the importance of the script and made it the basis of education. On the other hand, spoken language has necever received any consideration. A grown-up man who is well versed in spoken language has even been the subject of public scorn. Such mentality is still influencing the situation nowadays and a portion of educational experts do not devote any attention to the methods of teaching spoken language. (Mino, 1888, p.6)

Two reasons for dismissing the spoken language are given here. One of them is the emphasis on the Japanese script in the educational system in Japan, which was present even before Modern Japan. The other reason lies in the tendency to trivialize ortaorical skills. One of the students from the Fukuoka prefecture made a reference to the latter:

Talkativeness is considered to be an embarrassing quality in men. This particular point of view is deeply rooted in the mentality of the people in Kyushu. (Yano, 1907)

Therefore, it can be said that the tendency to trivialize the spoken language was quite alive at least in the northern part of Kyushu.

So why is teaching language so important? Mino (1888, p.6) provides two reasons. One lies in the fact that an unclear and incoherent lanugage may lead to serious misunderstandings, as people express their thoughts in order to convey them to other people. The other reason is that the significance of a language lies in its clarifying force - it is a means by which we explain concepts.

The reason why we stress the importance of the language is not only that the lanugage is a tool we use to express thoughts, but also a tool with which we can explain the concepts that are stored In our minds and which serves as an aid to our memory. In other words, with the help of sensory organs we create images about the nature of things and their shapes. And if we think about something and then express it with words again and again, we render the concepts more tangible and therefore easier to accumulate. (Mino, 1888, p.6)

In this passage the emphasis is on the crucial role of the language as the medium between the knowledge and memory - language gives shape to concepts and acts as an aid to the memory which then deepens our thoughts.

On the basis of the arguments described above, Mino also advocates the idea that not only students but also teachers should make an effort to practise their language. The author also defines the sort of attitude that teacher should take towards the language spoken in class:

Even those teachers who recognize the importance of language practice sometimes neglect to correct language anomalies uttered by their students, such as inadequate or incorrect vocabulary, vague or unclear word endings etc. Some teachers even correct these mistakes themselves. Such teaching methods surely cannot improve the students' language. (Mino, 1888, pp.6-7)

If a teacher notices unclear word endings, inadequate vocabulary or even erroneous use of words, it is his/her duty to correct such anomalies. However, the teacher should not simply find the correct word or its ending for the students, but encourage the students to do that themselves. That is because, as Mino (1888) points out, the concepts are framed through language, which in turn means that if the language is incoherent the concepts expressed with that language will be incoherent too.

In the study written by Mino one can sense the influence of Western modern linguistics which put an emphasis on the spoken language. In Oita kyoritsu kyoiku zasshi, articles from similar magazines published in other provinces appeared, and theories from the central intellectual circles could also be found. Therefore it could be assumed that the idea that "an opaque language equals unlcear thoughts" is a definition derived from a certain theory. In the next section, I am going to look into this particular issue.

4. The Spread of Pestalozzism and Object Lessons

It was not until the issue of the 3rd Decree on Elementary Schools in 1900 that the Japanese language started to be taught as a subject at schools. However, even before the decree in question, similar subjects had been taught at schools in the early Meiji Period, for example reading skills, writing skills and calligraphy. In order to better understand the methods used during the lessons in that period, one can consult The Manual for Teachers (Kyoju hosho). One of the first principals of the so-called "normal school" (which later became the Tokyo Normal School), Morokuzu Nobuzumi, adopted the following stance:

Although the education of a child includes the acquisition of academic skills, it should, at the beginning, primarily stimulate the child's perceptiveness and develop his/her intellect. In order to develop the child's itellect, the educational process should stimulate the child to think about different phenomenons, their characteristics and practical applicability. Children are very perceptive, quick-witted and change easily, which is why the early period in their lives should not go to waste. (Morokuzu, 1873)

The Shogakko kyoshi hikkei displays characteristics of class teaching methods used by Marion McCarrell Scott, a normal school teacher from the USA. Scott (18431922) was the first teacher at Tokyo State Normal School, where she was active for 10 years bewteen 1871 and 1881, and the person who introduced to Japan different teacher training methods and modern class teaching methods. Scott's educational philosophy included the so-called object lessons. This teaching method was a part of the Pestalozzism doctrine which was very popular in the USA at the time. The point of object lessons is to teach children by showing them or putting them in contact with concrete things and phenomenons. In fact, Morokuzu's idea that students should

develop their "intellect" by "studying" and "contemplating" about "things" and their "nature" reflects the Pestalozzist concept of object lessons.

Furthermore, the teaching method in question displays another specific characteristic and that is the extensive use of dialogues. Almost every teaching manual from that period includes examples of dialogues as teaching methods. In some cases there are certain differences as far as the terminology is concerned, but the content and the method is always almost the same. It can be said that the method taught by Scott was the method of object lessons with a strong emphasis on dialogues.

I would like to examine a concrete example of the dialogue method mentioned above. I am going to provide an example of a discussion bewteen the student and the teacher:

TEACHER: What is kaki?

STUDENT: It is a fruit from which a kaki tree grows. TEACHER: What do we use it for? STUDENT: It is a sort of fruit and we use it for food. TEACHER: How do we eat it?

STUDENT: Usually we eat it raw, but sometimes we dry it. (Calkins, Kaneko & Takahashi. 1875)

This kind of teaching method, widely used in the USA in that period, is based on the philosophy of developmentalism - development starting with the presentation of the substance - which is also reflected in the example above.

Kaisei kyoju jutsu (A Revision of Teaching Techniques, 1883) by Wakabayashi Torasaburo and Shirai Kowashi reached a high level of popularity among normal schools, which resulted in the spread of the inclination towards Pestalozzism all over the country. In Kaisei kyoju. jutsu there are many examples of the dialogue method discussed above. Still, although these developments helped to consolidate the philosophy of developmentalism, they steered the later development of the dialogue method, used in elementary education, in a direction away from the original ideas of Pestalozzism. Ito (1995) analyzes the situation as follows:

Since dialogues are based on form rather than meaning, it can be said that the dialogue technique, originating from the study (Kaisei kyoju jutsu) in question, was moving away from developmentalism and towards formalism. Moreover, since each concrete illustration of the dialouge method in the study is written very meticulously, it can be presumed that in class, considering the influence of Kaisei kyoju jutsu, these illustrations were understood very literally and also put into practise as such. Thus, the Pestolizzist dialouge method which came from the UK and the USA to Japan, began to represent a bond between the the teacher and the student (Ito, 1995, pp.8788)

This method is reminiscient of the so-called "repetitive reading technique" used in the early modern period, whereby the teacher asked a question and the students gave a detailed answer which had been prepared in advance. The goal was to memorize the answer. The dialogue method yielded the tendency to equalize the acquisition of

knowledge and the accuracy of the memory. All in all, because of the prevalent idea that a clear language and clear thoughts are proportionally related to each other, it can be safely said that Pestolizzism changed when it was accepted in Japan.

I would like to go back to Muko's and Mino's points of view - both authors claim that clear thoughts require a clear language. However, as a typical example of an "opaque language" Mukai points out the dialect, whereas Mino mentions inadequate or erroneous words - but was that really the stance shared by the teachers of that period? In the next section, I am going to examine individual items from the regulations of school administration and attempt to discover what was considered as "opaque language" in elementary education of the early Meiji period.

5. The Clarity of Language Required from Students (from the School Administration Rules)

In May of 1890, Kuroda Sadaharu, a teacher and a tutor at the advanced normal school, published a report on teaching methods for individual subjects in Oita kyoritsu kyoiku zasshi. It is a report for the Ministry of Education about Kuroda's research performed at elementary schools throughout the prefecutre. Apart from teaching methods for individual subjects, the report suggests the ways in which students should change their habits. Examples:

The following flaws have been discovered in the habits and characters of the students:

- violent language

- excessive talkativeness (especially with female students)

- lying

- tale-telling

- obscene choice of words; singing vulgar songs

- self-righteousness; interfering with other people's business (especially female


- impropriety

- loudness

- undignified behaviour

- showing inclination towards gambling (Kuroda, 1889)

The flaws mentioned above include obscenity, talkativeness, deceit and vulgarity. The flaws that could be connected with dialects are obscenity and vulgarity, although there is no direct indication of that in the report. However, in the following year, a research was conducted at elementary schools with simplified programmes throughout the prefecture. The report describes attempts to make the students use word endings and forms which express modesty, for example ARIMASU and GOZAIMASU (Hojo, 1890, pp.39-40).

Surely, this view speaks for the correction of dialects. However, it can be said that by pointing out standard sentence endings, the report also reflects the importance of avoiding "vague" inflections, which is an idea supported by Mino (1888).

During the same period, rules regarding the administration of schools from other prefectures were published in Oita kyoritsu kyoiku. At the time, elementary education was not yet a well-organized system, and elementary school teachers sought concrete examples that could be used in practice. Listed below are regulations concerning language which have been taken from three articles:

A. The Teaching Methods at the Elementary School Affiliated to The Normal School of the Shizuoka Prefecture (1891)

(7) Students' language should be accurate and clear, especially word endings;

(8) If a student speaks with voice that is too quite to be heard, the teacher should correct that flaw by always reminding the student;

(9) The teacher should never be lenient, whether it is a student's pose, language or voice that needs correcting

B. The Rules of Behaviour at the Elementary School Affiliated to The Normal School of the Mie Prefecture (1893)

Item 3: Rules Concerning Language and Behaviour

(1) Students must show respect towards property and other people. They must also adopt a humble attitude. Boys must be decisive and energetic, whereas girls must be calm and dignified.

(2) Students must speak with a clear voice, and use a mild, dignified language

(3) Students must be careful not to use rude language when addressing their superiors Item 7: Rules of Behaviour in Classroom

(1) Students must make themselves clear when speaking. They should always finish their sentences and make sure they pronounce word endings clearly.

C. Guidelines for Teaching at the Elementary School Affiliated to The Normal School of the Chiba Prefecture (1893)

The goal is to give students the knowledge and skills they will need in life, and to raise them to become moral people and good citizens

... The graduates of the elementary course are expected to acquire the following characteristics: a clear language, a lively character, willingness to cultivate their bodies and their spirits

. the graduates of the advanced course are expected to acquire the following characteristics: a clear language, a lively character, willingness to cultivate their bodies and their spirits

According to the rules of the The Elementary Normal School of the Mie Prefecture (1893), every student should be careful to use a polite and dignified language, and to speak politely to his/her superiors. As in the case the Oita prefecture, there is a possibility that these rules concerning language refer to dialects, although this is merely an assumption as other sources related to this topic are not available.

However, it seems that, as far as the quality of language required from students is concerned, the emphasis is not on the dialectal uses. Listed below are words which indicate that:

Desirable qualities: accuracy and clarity, clear word endings, clarity, precision, articulate

Negative traits that need to be changed: speaking quietly, ambiguity, not finishing what one is saying, unclear endings

The instructions that can be found In the first category stipulate that the students should speak clearly and make themselves understood; moreover, they should always finish what they are saying and speak in a loud voice.

Just as in the case of phrases used at the end of sentences, there is of course a possiblity that these stipulations refer to dialects (or expressions that are perceived to be dialectal) which need to be changed. However, it also has to be emphasized that in every stipulation listed above, the focus is more on the manner of speaking than on dialectal expressions.

Apart from the school administration rules, more concrete rules can be found in an article, published in 1889 in Oita kyoritsu kyoiku about mid-term exams at elementary schools, more specifically in the section concerning assessment criteria. Cited below is item 3 from that section:

However, in oral exams there are students who are eloquent, convincing and show great skill in explaining the gist of things. On the other hand, there are students who stammer, who are inarticulate, speak in a very unclear manner, and are able to express their thoughts only if they are assisted by the teacher. Naturally, the differences between these two types of students should be reflected in their grades. That is because those students whose spoken language skills are poor will certainly do better in written tests than the students with good speaking abilities. (Hiroike, 1888)

This text refers to the "language imperfections", although the subjects of criticism here are "stammering" and "hesitancy", not dialects. Furthermore, according to the text, the students whose spoken language is "imperfect" and require the teacher's assistance, will certainly do well in written tests.

In conclusion to the present analysis, it could be said that in that period the concept of the "unclear language" referred to flaws related to speech, for example quiet voice, hesitancy, unclear word endings. Dialects, on the other hand, are not included in that category yet, at least not until later when Muko treated them as a typical example

of language opacity. Even in the stipulations and rules discussed above, no clear connection bewteen the concept of unclear language and dialects could be found.

6. Conclusion

In the present study, I have focussed on the belief, present from the Meiji Period to the Taisho Period in Japan, that a clear language yields a clear ideology. I have closely examined the following two points: the concepts that served as the basis for this belief, and the question whether there exist any substantial differences in the message conveyed by the concept of "opaque lanugage" during a period in which the general stance on dialects was different.

The answer to the first question I found in the philosopy of Pestalozzism, a widespread educational ideology during that period. When the method of object lessons was accepted in Japan it changed, which resulted in the inseparability of the precision of memory and knowledge acquisiton. That served as a basis for the belief described above.

In order to find an answer to the second question, I have examined a number of administrative regulations for elementary schools of that period. I have discovered that in the early Meiji Period, the idea of an "unclear language" included not so much dialects, but flaws like stammering, quiet voice or hesitancy. That is probably due to the fact that in that period, the definition of a dialect and the definition of a national language were still vague.

Pestalozzism as an educational doctrine started to wane after the first 20 years of the Meiji period. However, it still remained present as a belief which makes a connection between language and ideology. Furthermore, with the movement for the unification of the written and spoken styles of the Japanese language, and the Russo-Japanese war, which boosted the national prestige, the national language became a popular subject of discourse. On the other hand, the dialect started to be viewed as a vulgar and primitive language. Some studies written during that period supported the idea that dialects should be destroyed, a stance adopted also by Mukai (1914).

Lastly, taking into consideration everything discussed above, I would like to examine the early Meiji period from the point of view of dialects. Yasuda (1999, p.48) disagrees with Shibata Takeshi (1958, p.111) who concurrs with the prediction by Miyake Yonekichi. Miyake claims that dialects will disappear naturally due to the development of public transportation, a point of view which Shibata evaluates as "a sound view, relevant to Contemporary Japan". Yasuda, on the other hand, believes that the creation of the transportational infrastructure or educational system serve to create an appearance of a unified state, with the "national power" in effect.

It can be said that Yasuda's claim is accurate. However, it should be noted that, compared to the studies written in later periods, the perception of the dialect in the

early Meiji Period displays great diversity. Later on, the acceptance of occidental linguistics in Japan and the visible and invisible pressure from the state pervaded people's view on the language. The early Meiji Period was the time when the systematization of the "national langugage" was still at a developing stage, but the people attempted to produce definitions of their own language from a variety of different perspectives.


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Companion to Elementary school classes.) Matsumoto: Keirindo. Chibaken Jinjou Shihan Gakkou Fuzoku Shougakkou Kyouju Youshi. (Guidelines for Teaching at the Elementary School Affiliated to the Normal School of the Chiba Prefecture) (1893). Ooitaken Kyouritsu Kyouiku Zassi, 104, 18-23.

Hiroike, J. (1888). Shougakkou no Gakki Shiken. (The Semester Examination of Elementary

School.) Ooitaken Kyouritsu Kyouiku Zassi, 39, 7-10. Hojo, S. (1890). Gakuji Shisatsu. (School observation.) Ooitaken Kyouritsu Kyouiku Zassi, 67, 28-35.

Ito, T. (1995). Pestalozzi's Quest for the "Right" Question-Answer-From : His Proposition and Its Limits. Annual of Educational Study, 12, 81-93. Nara woman's university.

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Lee, Y. (1996). "Kokugo" to iu Shiso. (The thought of Japanese National Language named

"Kokugo ") Tokyo: Iwanami shoten. Matsubara, K. (1888). Sakubun Kyouju ni Tsuite no Kouan. (Some Ideas for Composition Lesson.) Ooitaken Kyouritsu Kyouiku Zassi, 40, 19-23.

Mieken Jinjou Shihan Gakkou Fuzoku Shougakkou Kyouiku Youshi. (The Rules of Behaviour at the Elementary School Affiliated to The Normal School of the Mie Prefecture) (1893). Ooitaken Kyouritsu Kyouiku Zassi, 104, 18-23.

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Ooitaken Kyouritsu Kyouiku Zassi, 39, 5-7. Miyake, Y. (1929). Hougen Torishirabe Nakama no Shuisho. (Statement of Intent-The

Research circle of dialects.) In Bungaku Hakase Miyake Yonekichi Chojutsusyuu Joukan, 849. Tokyo: Meguro Shoten. Morokuzu, N. (1875). Shogaku kyoshi hikkei. (The Companion to Elementary School Teacher.) Tokyo: Seizando.

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Susumu.(Encouraging Use of Prosperous Education instead of Treasonable one.) Chuuou Kouron, 312, 52-68.

Osa, S. (1998). Kindai Nihon to Kokugo Nashonarizumu. (The Modern Japan and Nationalism

in National Language.) Tokyo: Yoshikawa Koubunkan. Shibata, T. (1958). Nihon no Hougen. (The dialect of Japan.) Tokyo, Iwanami Shinsho.

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National Language and Dialect - Politics in the construction of Language.) Tokyo: Jinbun shoin.

Towards a Theoretical Approach to the Understanding of Language Ideologies in Post-Meiji Japan


University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts, Department of Asian and African Studies lukaculiberg@hotmail.com


The paper aims to examine specific conditions that have generated the understanding of language in post-Meiji Japan and propose a theoretical approach to the question of why a specific view on language, or to use a more precise concept - a language ideology - was, and still is, inevitable within a specific ideological horizon, the horizon of nationalism. In order to do so, it first gives an overview of the linguistic situation in post-Meiji Japan with all its competing and opposing views, followed by an outline of the up to date research, its breakthroughs, its problems and its dead ends. Finally it proposes the orthodox method of historical materialism as possibly the only methodological approach hoping to grasp all these interconnected social problems in their totality.


Japan, language, nation, ideology, theory, historical materialism


Članek poskuša raziskati pogoje, ki so pripeljali do posebnega pogleda na jezik na Japonskem od Obdobja Meiji naprej, in predlagati teoretski pristop k vprašanju, zakaj je določen pogled na jezik, ali natančneje - jezikovna ideologija, nujna v določenem ideološkem horizontu -horizontu nacionalizma. Članek prinaša najprej pregled nad jezikovnim stanjem Obdobja Meiji in po njem z vsemi tekmujočimi in nasprotujočimi si pogledi, čemur sledi oris dosedanjih raziskav, njihovih prebojev, težav in slepih poti. Na koncu članek predlaga ortodoksno metodo historičnega materializma kot edini metodološki pristop, ki lahko upa, da bo vse te medsebojno prepletene družbene probleme lahko zajel v njihovi celoti.

Ključne besede

Japonska, jezik, narod, ideologija, teorija, historični materializem

B^MKB^KKW^tfif^fe^ (Kamei, Oto & Yamada, 2006, p. 5). Japanese language is nothing else but the language of the Japanese people.

Acta Linguistica Asiatica, Vol. 1, No. 1, 2011. ISSN: 2232-3317 http://revije.ff.uni-lj.si/ala/index

In October 2010 a Croatian nationalistic organisation called Hrvatsko kulturno vijece (Croatian Cultural Council)1 filed charges against those responsible within the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia for co-financing the publication of the book by Croatian linguist Snjezana Kordic titled Jezik i nacionalizam (Language and Nationalism). Charges were pressed on the grounds that the book Language and Nationalism is directed against Croatian culture, Croatian cultural identity and the Croatian language, and therefore should not be co-financed from the state budget (Hitrec).2

This controversial book engages in the polemic with Croatian linguists by arguing about the Croatian language from the established linguistic premise that the so-called Croatian, Serbian, Bosnian and Montenegrin languages do not by any definition constitute different or separate languages but are merely variants of one polycentric standard language known in linguistics as Serbo-Croatian (or Croato-Serbian), and that claims by Croatian linguists to the contrary are not grounded upon any kind of scientific linguistic arguments but are rather the result of purely political and ideological motives (Kordic, 2010).

This particular polemic and its subsequent events are especially interesting since they clearly demonstrate that such sentiments towards language, having been around for some time, have not yet lost their momentum. For example, approximately one hundred years ago in a completely different part of the world a similar group of people came together in order to protect the integrity of its national language and fend off dangerous attempts at undermining the nation's substance and its tradition. In 1905 a group of conservatives calling themselves Kokugokai (Hln^ National Language Association), led by Privy Councillor Higashikuze Michitomi, announced their conviction that the fortunes of the language were closely linked to those of the nation (Gottlieb, 1995, p. 67), and therefore when one is compromised the other suffers as well. This and another group called Kokugo Yogokai (HfnHf^fi^ Association for Defence of the National Language) were established primarily as a response to the language planning activities and the proposed language reforms by the formal governmental body established within the Ministry of Education with the aim of carrying out thorough investigation of the state of the language in Japan at the beginning of the 20th century.

The present paper intends to examine specific conditions that have generated the understanding of language in post-Meiji Japan and show why a specific view on language, or to use a more precise concept - a language ideology - was, and still is, inevitable within a specific ideological horizon, the horizon of nationalism.

1 Article 1 of the Council's program states: "Croatian Cultural Council (HKV) through its activities affects the whole of Croatian reality, with the aim of affirming the values that are woven into Croatian tradition and constitute the source of Croatian cultural and national identity." (Program Hrvatskoga kulturnog vijeca, para. 1.)

2 State Attorney's Office in Zagreb dropped the charges in January 2011.

The problem this paper wishes to address is the change in language ideology as a consequence of the change in material conditions of the Japanese society after the transition from the bakuhan taisei type of feudal system of Tokugawa Japan to the capitalist market economy of the Meiji period. The transition from feudal society to liberal democracy was of course not instantaneous, but the material conditions of economic liberalism brought about ideological shifts that eventually demanded the institution of liberal democracy.3 From the Meiji Restoration onwards almost every two decades Japan's politics had experienced radical change, and it was not until the end of the Second World War that the liberal democratic system was established. Unlike the revolutions in the United States or France, the Meiji Restoration was not a modern type revolution, since it was the lower-class samurai who initiated the political reform; they were not exactly supporters of modern democracy and were hardly willing to relinquish power easily once they took hold of it (Tanaka, 1994, p. 57). However, once the course of capitalist economy, industrialisation and modernisation of Japan following the Western model had been chosen, it was only a matter of time before the liberal democracy was to have its way as well. One evidence to that is the emergence of liberal ideologues already early in the Meiji period, such as Fukuzawa Yukichi, whose powerful voices and opinions even the Meiji government had no choice but to listen to (Tanaka, 1994, p. 58).

To return to the question of language, we have to examine the causes that led to the situation in which the need for language reform and planning suddenly appeared. In many respects this seems obvious and appears to have already been answered numerous times. The transformation of Japanese society into a single nation demanded the unification of language, which could only have been achieved through a universal school system and the spread of literacy. This, in turn, demanded the orthographic reform and standardisation of written style that should correspond to the colloquial style, i.e. writing should be considered only as a means to record spoken language.

However not everyone shared these views. In fact, language planning was contested and opposed on practically every possible aspect, with disagreements and disputes emerging between supporters of the colloquial written style and those who were in favour of preserving the classical way of writing, those who supported limiting or abolishing Chinese characters and those who wanted to preserve them, those who were in favour of adopting the Japanese kana syllabary and those who opted for the introduction of the Roman alphabet, etc.

The reason for this plurality of attitudes toward language in the newly emerged Japanese society of the Meiji Period requires a complex explanation that has been attempted in more detail elsewhere (Culiberg, 2007), but suffice it to say that the main characteristic of nationally structured individualistic societies is the fact that their members ideologically perceive themselves as belonging to the nation, not indirectly

3 For an outline of this process that has passed through many stages since the Meiji restoration (1868), see Tanaka (1994).

through any kind of social status, position or rank within the society or some other type of institutional affiliation, but directly in their abstraction as abstract individuals.4 This ideological perception understands affiliation to the nation as being unconditional, innate and quasi-natural and thus provides the neutral ground which connects and totalises the ideological plurality and produces the effect of "social totality", i.e. reproduces society as a unified, homogenous group (Močnik, 1999, p. 93).

The adoption of a Western style capitalist market economy necessitated the abolition of the feudal structure of society and a redefinition of Japan as a modern type of nation-state composed of a unified and homogeneous group of Japanese nationals. As has been shown by Hobsbawm and others (2007), the process of nation-building involved many complex adaptations and reinterpretations of history, traditions, and -of course - language. However, defining language as just another case of invented tradition requires a more detailed explanation concerning language ideologies. This will be attempted on the case of Japan from the Meiji Period onwards.

Official language planning in Japan began only in 1900, when it was first sanctioned at government level by appointing a team of experts to research the problem of national language or kokugo ( H M). This led to the establishment of the first governmental body within the Ministry of Education, called the Kokugo chosa iinkai The National Language Research Council) in 1902 (Yasuda, 2006, p. 62). The policy of this council was that of the so-called reformists, who were concerned with issues such as establishing a written colloquial style, limiting or abolishing Chinese characters and reforming the historical kana usage (rekishiteki kanazukai) with phonetic kana usage (hyoonshiki kanazukai) or replacing them altogether with the Roman alphabet.

Upon its establishment in 1902 Kokugo chosa iinkai proposed four main tasks to be approached and solved as the committee's primary goals. These were (Yasuda, 2006, p. 63):

1. Adopting the phonetic script; investigating the relative merits of kana and the Roman alphabet.

2. Adopting a colloquial style in writing; conducting research concerning the matter.

3. Conducting research into the phonetic structure of national language (kokugo).

4. Surveying the dialects and settling upon a standard language.

4 Contrary to the social order in Tokugawa Japan, based on the four class system known as shinokosho (±

S^B) of samurai, peasants, artisans and merchants with the addition of Buddhist and Shinto priests, court nobles and outcasts, each member of the society belonging to his or her own well-defined place in the social structure, Meiji Japan became a society composed of abstract individuals free of any kind of status connection and directly linked to the institution of nation as Japanese nationals.

These four tasks clearly reveal the language policy that was adopted by linguists as well as the government at the beginning of the 20th century. There was the urgent question of settling upon and spreading the standard language across the archipelago as well as reforming the written language and bringing it in line with the spoken one; and finally, there was the question of abolishing altogether the burdensome Chinese characters and replacing them with one kind or another of phonetic script. This last point is especially interesting since this was the only instance when the Japanese government actually endorsed such policy that was of course immediately contested by the more conservative opponents. The final outcome settled upon after World War II limits the kanji in official usage to approximately two thousand characters.

The language policy proposed by the National Language Research Council was primarily an attempt to put into practice the ideas propagated by linguist Ueda Kazutoshi, spiritus agens of the reform movement, who had returned to Japan a few years before the establishment of the Council after having studied linguistics in Europe. The idea behind (1) in connection to (2) - namely abolishing kanji and adopting a colloquial style of writing - was thus an attempt to break away from the kanbun kundokutai (^^M'l^^), a style of written language which was at the centre of Japanese writing at the time. It was primarily influenced by Ueda's training in modern European linguistics giving priority to the spoken over the written language (Yasuda, 2006, pp. 63-64).

Japan had officially declared its modern nationhood through the promulgation of the Meiji Constitution in 1889. A few years later, in 1894, the same year Japan had entered the war with China, Ueda Kazutoshi, who had been studying linguistics in Europe and was particularly inspired by the school of Junggrammatiker (Young Grammarians), returned to Japan and was appointed professor of philology at Tokyo Imperial University. It was in this heavily charged nationalistic atmosphere that he gave his famous lecture upon returning home, titled Kokugo to kokka to (Htn^ MM £ The national language and the state). In his lecture he explicitly stressed the need for "love for the Muttersprache", and passionately argued for the unity of national language, connecting it to the unity of nation, by arguing about the deep intrinsic relationship between language and its people and proclaiming the Japanese language as the spiritual blood of the Japanese people (Ueda, 1968, p. 110).

Influenced by Western scholarship, Ueda endeavoured to establish a standardised national language or kokugo6 and was passionately promoting the national language

6 Kokugo (Bfo), while at first a general term denoting any national language had since become synonymous with the Japanese language and has been used to designate Japanese as a school subject and a research object of Japanese linguistics (Bfo^ kokugogaku). When this language is being taught to non-Japanese speakers as a foreign language, however, it is referred to as nihongo or Japanese language. This distinction between us and them had been under debate for a long time, and recently small departures from this strict division have occurred, for instance when the Society of Japanese Linguistics voted to change its name from Kokugo Gakkai to Nihongo Gakkaiin 2004, or when in a 2002 survey seventy-four universities

studies or kokugogaku. He began his career with harsh criticism of the old-school scholars of Japanese classics, associated mostly with the national studies or kokugaku tradition of the Keichu (1640-1701), Kamo no Mabuchi (1697-1769) and Motoori Norinaga (1730-1801) line (Lee, 1996, p. 97). Ueda's view that language can be explained only by means of scientific linguistics and not by means of traditional kokugaku was similar to the view held by nineteenth-century European linguists who were critical of classical philology and were thus shifting the attention from written to spoken language while also maintaining that linguistic change is governed by rational laws and not by human intentions (Lee, 1996, p. 99). Ueda had been initiated into the world of European linguistics by Basil Hall Chamberlain who was at the time a professor of Japanese at Tokyo Imperial University where Ueda graduated (Yasuda, 2006, p. 46). From 1890 to 1894 he was studying in Europe, mostly in Germany and France, where he was further influenced by the mainstream linguistic school at the time - the Neogrammarians, that was especially strong in Leipzig, one of the places where Ueda spent most of his time abroad (Lee, 1996, p. 106). During his stay in Europe, however, Ueda was influenced not only by the academic circles of Junggrammatiker but also by the more public proponents of language ideology like the Allgemeine Deutsche Sprachverein which held extreme views concerning the unity of nation and language and was involved in extensive language purification movements (Lee, 1996, p. 116). The success of such movements was further secured by the spreading of patriotic nationalism through the public after the Prussian victory over France and the unification of Germany, not unlike general sentiments that spread through Japan during the Sino-Japanese war or the language purification hysteria in Croatia in the 90's after the war with Serbia and the achievement of national independence.

But if Ueda's views on language, strongly influenced by the "scientific" approach of Neogrammarians and nested in the Herder-Humboldt-Grimm line of thought that connected the spirit of the nation to its language7, were as nationalistic as they get, what can we say then of his opponents like the National Language Association or the Association for the Defence of National Language that were established as a response to the language planning activities by the National Language Research Council of which Ueda Kazutoshi was the main engine?

As mentioned above, these associations firmly opposed and strongly criticised Ueda's linguistic policies because they believed that the fortunes of the language were closely linked to those of the nation, in other words, because they believed exactly the same thing. However, although a national institution operates as an inevitable framework for language ideologies, as we have argued above, it does not necessarily support or generate one single ideological interpretation. On the contrary, as an

were found to have changed the name of the department concerned with Japanese language to Nihongo gakka (Gottlieb, 2005, p. 16).

7 As Grimm stated, the unification of Germany could not depend on politics, economy or religion, but on making the German language the symbol of national unity, because Germany can exist only as a "linguistic nation" (Sprachnation) (Lee, 1996, p. 113).

ideological institution it necessarily generates conflicting views and paradoxes which, on the other hand, it is fully capable of supporting with its "neutral" position and thus creating a framework where concrete ideological interpretations retain the status of relativity while the national institution itself achieves the status of the absolute.

Let us examine briefly the ideological background upon which the opponents of Ueda's language reforms have formulated their views. Language questions in Japan had already been present at least throughout the Edo period, especially within the so-called nativist school or kokugaku with Motoori Norinaga as its pinnacle. In the wake of modern nationalism this tradition had been reinterpreted as a uniquely Japanese version of philological tradition and was appropriated as such. It was exactly this desire to create a Japanese nationalism that was on par with, but not derived from, that of Western nation-states that motivated the production of the new kokugaku (shin-kokugaku) of the Meiji period (Burns, 2003. p. 225).

From the Meiji period onward neo-nativists such as Haga Yaichi (1867-1927) went through painstaking efforts to construct a narrative of the rise of national consciousness stretching back to antiquity but culminating in the philological practice of Motoori Norinaga, a narrative that paralleled but never intersected with those of Western nationalisms. Situated within this narrative, Norinaga's work became presciently scientific, academic and modern - but still distinctly Japanese (Burns, 2003, p. 225).

Just like Ueda Kazutoshi, Haga Yaichi too had studied for four years in Europe and upon returning to Japan in 1904 he delivered a lecture before an assembly of students at Kokugakuin University entitled Kokugaku to wa nanizo ya (H^ t iiM^r ^ What in fact is kokugaku?) (Haga, 1968). The main difference between his and Ueda's speech was that though they both firmly believed in the superiority of modern "scientific" research, unlike Ueda who had discovered this method in European scholarship and had introduced it to Japan, Haga put his efforts into showing that there already existed in Japan a tradition of scholarship identical to that of Europe but of course at the same time distinctively Japanese (Haga, 1968). He talked about the history of European philology and concluded that there was a method within kokugaku which was identical to European scientific method and he went on to reinterpret the kokugaku tradition in terms of philology, using the term bunkengaku as a

translation for philology and applying it to the tradition of kokugaku (Haga, 1968):

Among Western philologists there was a very great and daring man called August Bockh. In his work On the study of Antiquity8 he had laid down a definition concerning philology which, according to his belief, can be considered an illustrious science9 in today's meaning of the word. I will follow and discuss his ideas later, but

8 I presume that the title Kogaku koyo (^^S®) that Haga mentiones in his text refers to the speech by Bockh titled De antiquitatis studio published in Vol. 1. of his Gesammelte kleine Schriften (1858), where he discusses his theories concerning philology.


the fact is that Japanese kokugaku equals Japanese philology10. Japanese people have called it kokugaku and if Western philology, the kind Bockh had advocated, constitutes a scientific discipline, then Japanese kokugaku is nothing less than illustrious science as well (Haga, 1986, p. 230).

Whereas Ueda dismissed kokugaku as obsolete and unscientific in favour of modern Western science, Haga, on the other hand, endeavoured to inscribe the same "scientific" ideology into the kokugaku tradition itself. Both have argued from the same paradigmatic perspective but with completely opposite ideological interpretations. Ueda believed that Japanese language could be greatly improved by adopting a standard form of language and a colloquial style in writing and did not view this as tampering with tradition or destroying a respected cultural icon. Quite the contrary, for him to refine the national language meant treating it with respect (Gottlieb, 2005, p. 45).

This "clash of ideologies" was of course not limited to these two individuals but was rather systemic in its nature. Ueda's followers in the twentieth century such as Hoshina Koichi or Hirai Masao who were advocating the so-called genbun'itchi movement - the unification of written and spoken language - and the introduction of the Roman alphabet, were strongly opposed by conservative traditionalists such as Yamada Yoshio or Tokieda Motoki who were in favour of preserving the historical usage of writing and traditional literary style. Tokieda even constructed his own grammatical theory, called language process theory gengo katei setsu),

in part also as a criticism of Saussure and his synchronic language theory.

The ideas of language "reformists" met with resistance not only from the more conservative linguists but also from the official government establishment. If the novel concept of nationalism became a platform for language ideologies as represented in Ueda's ideas about the formation of a new standard national language (kokugo), the same nationalistic ideology also brought about a different view on national language, one which saw any reform debate as a direct attack on national values, history and tradition. These "values", representing a distinct pattern of national unity around the Emperor, eventually received articulated form and official status within the concept of kokutai or "national polity". Forming one of the basic constructs within kokutai

was kotodama (WS) or "the spirit of the Japanese language", a term used to imply an inseparable connection existing between the unique Japanese language and the essence of the Japanese spirit (Gottlieb, 2005, p. 47).

Ever since the Meiji Restoration, language policies as well as general attitudes toward language in Japan were dominated by one or another form of language ideology. As early as 1866 Maejima Hisoka (1835-1919), who later sat together with Ueda Kazutoshi in the Kokugo chosa iinkai, submitted to the shogun his Kanji onhaishi no gi (M.^^M^.'i.m, The argument for the abolition of kanji), a petition in which he already drew the connection between script and national power (Gottlieb,

1995, p. 48). The idea that writing is only a representation of the spoken language gave birth to the movement in Meiji period called genbun'itchi or the unification of spoken and written language.

Concerning the questions of orthography, there were those, like the above mentioned liberal Fukuzawa Yukichi, who had advocated the rationalised and simplified form of the existent writing system and were in favour of limiting the number of kanji, those who had propagated the use of phonetic kana script, as well as those who were in favour of adopting the Roman alphabet. They were, in turn, opposed by those traditionalists who claimed that the written style of Japanese is not the spoken language, and that kanji and historical usage of kana were part of a long literary tradition. However, though the script reform debate had been going on ever since the beginning of the Meiji Period, it was not until the end of World War II and the Allied occupation of Japan that it was actually partly implemented by modernising kana spelling and limiting the number of kanji as well as introducing certain simplified forms. However, since the 1960s the reform had again taken the reverse course by softening the kanji limit requirements and slowly increasing their number.11

As for standardization of the spoken language, the situation was no better and in extreme cases it went as far as Mori Arinori's somewhat fatalistic suggestion early in the Meiji period to rather adopt English as the standard language in Japan, the idea that had probably still echoed in 1946 when in the sombre atmosphere of the post-war destruction the famous Japanese novelist Shiga Naoya made a similar statement in a published article proposing that Japan should adopt French as its national language (Kindaichi, 1988, p. 1).

The language reform movements have been studied extensively in Japan as Ueda (2008) notes, especially since Yamamoto Masahide (1907-1980) whose works on genbun'itchi movement, prominent until the 1970s, left a valuable imprint on the study of language reform (p. 131). His scholarship gave way to a new scholarly trend in the 1980s, as Karatani Kojin and others, grounded in post-structuralist theories, argued that the genbun'itchi movement in fact produced a new écriture, based on phonocentrism.12 Ueda (2008) further notes that this perspective on the linguistic reform movements took off further as recent literary and linguistic scholars such as Lee Yeounsuk, Osa

11 At the time, along with economic growth, Japan was experiencing a resurgence of conservatism which contributed to the increasing sense that post-war reforms had gone too far. As Gottlieb (1995) writes, soon after the release of the interim report of a special subcommittee of the LDP recommending a return to the old ways, the now-reorganised Council was instructed by the Education Minister in 1966 to re-examine the post-war cycle of reforms (p. 16). The character list was revised and expanded and kanji "restriction" was reformulated as mere "recommendation". The last kanji reform adding again more characters to the list has been introduced in 2010.

12 Karatani (1995) claims that phonocentrism was already present within the kokugaku of the eighteenth century and according to him the buds of nationalism appeared first and foremost in Japan in the movement to privilege phonetic writing within the Chinese character cultural sphere, a situation that was far from unique in Japan, since with respect to the forming of nations, the same problem has emerged all over the world and thus he believes a historical consideration of the case of Japan should look at the problem from a more universal perspective (pp. 5-6).

Shizue, Komori Yoichi, and Yasuda Toshiaki have focused on nationalisation and de-Asianisation of language and have been discussing linguistic reforms also from the standpoint of their connection to the colonial and imperial agenda (p. 131). Ueda (2008) recognises the value of this scholarship that began to adopt a new focus on the production of a new national language and its ideological implications and believes that such scholarship did much to criticize the developmental view of genbun 'itchi that Yamamoto presented (p. 131), but she nevertheless finds problems in their approach:

However, as valuable as this scholarship has been, it regrettably has its own teleological narrative: it focuses on the production of an ideologically-charged "national language" (kokugo), which forcefully excludes or assimilates otherwise heterogeneous languages. It posits the nation as a pre-existing entity, whose regulative idea is used to characterize the many linguistic reforms in early Meiji Japan. In large part this scholarly trend reflects the notion of "imagined communities" posited by Benedict Anderson's book of the same name; Anderson theorized the ideological formation of the nation state in which the production of "national language" plays a significant part. Recent scholarship has appropriated this theory, producing a teleological narrative that posits the "national language" of the imagined nation as the putative telos, often producing an inverted narrative that posits the nation as an entity that inspired the movement that created it. Such a paradigm, which can be seen in some more than in others, posits the nation as telos and hence as a pre-existing entity, and the urge to nationalize is deemed the primary cause of change; the formulaic discussions that seemingly trace the nation-building process often end up in a self-fulfilling prophecy (pp. 131-132).

Ueda claims that modern kokugo scholars are inverting Anderson's concept of "imagined communities" by not theoretically arguing the construction of nation, but rather appropriating it as a pre-existing concept that necessarily gives birth to the idea of a single "national language". On the other hand, Joseph (2004) claims that Anderson's constructionist approach to nationalism is purchased at the price of an essentialist outlook on languages (p. 124). It seems then, we are confronted with two inverted narratives: if modern kokugo scholars discuss the concept of the national language based on an essentialist outlook on nation, Anderson's theory, on the other hand, supposedly discusses nations based on an essentialist outlook on languages. Joseph (2004) therefore proposes that nations and languages are in fact dialectically co-constructed and arise in tandem (p. 124). This idea, also taken up in Makoni and Pennycook (2007), is based mostly on Hobsbawm's (1990) approach that understands the national language itself as a discursive construction (Joseph, 2004, p. 120), however, Joseph is quick to distance himself from the possibility of delving too deep into a materialist or "Marxist" interpretation of language and nation. He quotes Michael Silverstein's critique of Anderson's blind spot concerning language determinism, and finally dismisses Silverstein as being close to vulgar-materialist reduction which asserts that the only "real" facts are the political processes and political economic conflict which underlie the discourse through which the national/standard language is battled into existence and that ideologies of language are merely a reflection of what is real and have no reality in themselves (p. 124).

However, in my opinion, it is exactly this shying away from a materialist method that blocks any possibility of an actual theoretical breakthrough, since without the historical materialist perspective it is impossible to produce a theory, i.e. to produce an epistemological cut that separates it from its spontaneous ideological exteriority. Therefore, rather than shying away from it, we should, on the contrary, embrace it in all its orthodoxy, if we wish to construct a theory of linguistic ideologies in the context of the national framework. Through the century-long process of discrediting historical materialism13 within social theory, theory itself has been almost completely eradicated from the sphere of social sciences. Even authors who still attempt theoretical practice are usually full of caveats and excuses in order not to be labelled as Marxists. The result of discredited Marxism and its orthodox historical materialist approach is a heap of idealistic scholarship delving into sombre mysticism, identity discourses and discussions about "national characters" or conflicts between individual and society on one side, and the careful or "moderate" attempts at materialist approach to society on the other.

Tanaka Katsuhiko (1989), when he constructs his own theory of language ideologies, compares Marxism to the Neo-grammarians "scientific" naturalism, saying that the conviction that the human phenomena were independent of human consciousness and that they blindly came into existence according to some set formula or law was characteristic of much nineteenth-century thought, in particular Marxism (p. 168). However, to accuse Marxist theory of "blind scientific naturalism" is to disregard the basic idea of the method of dialectic materialism that explicitly argues against any kind of empiricist social science that desperately follows the natural science paradigm of "objectively describing the reality". Tanaka criticises the Marxist approach by quoting Engels' explanation of dialectics in the Anti-Duhring (Tanaka, 1989; Tanaka, 2004), however, Lukacs (1922), on the other hand, has pointed out that no matter how we regard some of Engels' arguments in the Anti-Duhring, whether we grant them classical status or whether we criticise them, deem them to be incomplete or even flawed, we must still agree that the real nature of dialectical method is nowhere treated in them (section 1, para. 4).

By saying we should return to the orthodox method of historical materialism in order to construct a theory of language ideology, therefore, does not imply following blindly everything Marx or Engels might or might not have stated, but rather means accepting its method. Lukacs (1922) claimed that failing to understand what dialectical method is, if its true meaning is obscured, dialectics must inevitably begin to look like a superfluous additive, a mere ornament of Marxist "sociology" or "economics". Even worse, it will appear as an obstacle to the "sober", "impartial" study of the "facts", as an empty construct in whose name Marxism does violence to the facts (section 1, para. 7). However, it must be stated clearly in response to those who accuse the theorists of forcing the theory upon the "facts" instead of first "objectively" examining these

13 Usually simply under the label of Marxism.

"facts", that in theory there is no such thing as "objective" facts or as Lukacs (1922) has put it:

The blinkered empiricist will of course deny that facts can only become facts within the framework of a system - which will vary with the knowledge desired. He believes that every piece of data from economic life, every statistic, every raw event already constitutes an important fact. In so doing he forgets that however simple an enumeration of "facts" may be, however lacking in commentary, it already implies an "interpretation". Already at this stage the facts have been comprehended by a theory, a method; they have been wrenched from their living context and fitted into a theory (section 2, para. 2).

In order to progress from these "facts" to facts in the true meaning of the word it is necessary to perceive their historical conditioning as such and to abandon the point of view that would see them as immediately given: they must themselves be subjected to a historical and dialectical examination (Lukacs, section 2, para. 10). If we understand that historical character of facts, then we must also become aware that by addition they are also precisely in their objective structure the products of a definite historical epoch, namely capitalism (Lukacs, section 2, para. 9).

It is thus necessary to observe these "facts" within their historical context, in other words, to theorise about nation and language within the structure of the capitalist world-system through the dialectical method in order to be able to grasp the problem in its totality. This dialectical conception of totality is the only method capable of understanding and reproducing reality. It is important to note, as Lukacs (1922) does, that in the case of social reality these contradictions are not a sign of the imperfect understanding of society; on the contrary, they belong to the nature of reality itself and to the nature of capitalism (Section 3, para. 2) When the totality is known they will not be transcended and cease to be contradictions. Quite the reverse, they will be seen to be necessary contradictions arising out of the antagonisms of this system of production. When theory (as the knowledge of the whole) opens up the way to resolving these contradictions it does so by revealing the real tendencies of social evolution (Section 3, para. 2).

On the surface, therefore, we had many contradicting language ideologies and arguments for the reform in the Meiji period which seemed in great contrast with each other. In 1880s Japan we had, on the one hand, the popularity of kanbun kundokutai in newspapers, textbooks, fictional works, and compositions (Ueda, 2008, p. 139). Yet on the other hand the arguments for language reforms - whether it was the Roman alphabet, kana scripts, or genbun 'itchi - almost always targeted kanji, kanji compounds, and kanbun for criticism. As a result, it appears that the forces supporting kanbun kundokutai and language reforms were not only separate, but worked against each other (Ueda, 2008, p. 139). The privileging of sound in Western linguistic theories, moreover, further reinforced the binary oppositions (spoken/written, phonetic scripts/ideographs) that supported such seemingly opposing forces (Ueda, 2008, p. 139).

However, if we place these opposing forces in a theoretical perspective, it becomes clear that while they were antagonistic on their manifest level, they were not in fact antagonistic in their ideological conditions of existence. In other words, these views were not based on theoretical premises since they were all merely ideological adaptations to the new social reality, engaging in ideological struggle for the hegemonic interpretation of this reality. In fact all these opposing views actually sought to sever the past from the present, to accommodate the nationalistic and linguistic ideologies to the new actual conditions of Meiji Japan. One of Ueda's (2008) criticisms pointed towards modern kokugo scholars is that they focus on the period of Ueda Kazutoshi and post the Sino-Japanese war era from the mid-1890s which highlights what many call language nationalism (p. 132). Ueda (2008) goes on to discuss the discursive conditions by which kokugo became possible in the period preceding Ueda-led reforms and she shows how the emergence of kokugo in fact negotiated with the proliferation of kanbun kundokutai style of writing in the 1880s. She tries to show that this style of kanbun or classical Chinese that employed Japanese word order and suffixes and gained wide popularity in the Meiji period goes against the claims of those who argue that new nationalistic ideas and the urge of de-Asianization (Datsu-a) were the basis of kokugo ideology. Ueda (2008) might be right in her criticism that explaining the emergence of kokugo simply with the rise of nationalist ideology is too simplistic and necessarily insufficient. However, she does not provide an alternative theoretical approach that would enable us to situate the question of language ideologies within the broader socio-economic context of the liberal bourgeois society of Meiji Japan.

Therefore, before embarking onto various explanations of how language ideologies emerged within nation-states, or arguing the birth of national consciousness based on supposedly natural linguistic communities, we should first take a look at how the emergence of the capitalist system in Europe has led to the establishment of the nationally structured societies of abstract individuals free from any status-related or other ties, but at the same time also on the path of alienation from their means of production. In order to understand this complex interconnection of linguistic and national ideologies in their totality, we have to understand them dialectically in their proper historical context by following the path to abstraction.

To put it in a necessarily insufficient schematic way, we can say that a major consequence of the capitalist mode of production was the process of alienation of the means of production from the producers, thus giving birth to new social classes of capitalists and proletarians, followed by the disintegration of feudal social ties and leading to a completely new form of social organisation of community, called nation. The specificity of this new type of social organisation was that it stripped its members of all family, status or any other kind of group-related identity ties and has embraced them in their complete abstraction, as abstract individuals to whom it now provided the only means of identity - national identity. In order to construct this imagined community another type of alienation had to take place: with the establishment of abstract standard national languages people finally became alienated from their

language as well. The nation-state, by means of the school system as its ideological state apparatus, took it upon itself to teach its subjects the "proper" language. This is ideology in the true sense of the concept, while all the opposing discussions as to what this "proper" language actually is, provide just that necessary image of apparently "ideology-free" plurality of opinion on one hand, and reassurance in the seemingly "ideology-free" absolute nature of the national language on the other, and were thus of course not limited to Meiji Japan, but continue to be published ceaselessly in numerous academic monographs, papers, popular books and newspapers almost daily, whether it is in Japan or anywhere else in the world.


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modern Japan. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. Culiberg, L. (2007). Japonska med nacionalnim mitom in mitološko nacijo. Ljubljana, Slovenia: Založba /*cf.

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tanjo. Tokyo, Japan: Heibonsha. Karatani, K. (1995). Nationalism and écriture. Surfaces, V(201). Retrieved from http://www.pum.umontreal.ca/revues/surfaces/vol5/karatani.pdf

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Images of Pre-WW II: National Language Policies as Reflected in the Field of "National Language Studies Itself

Andrej BEKES

University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts and

University of Tsukuba Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences andrej.bekes@guest.arnes.si


In this study I focus on the possible intellectual background regarding the scant attention paid by researchers and textbook writers to the establishment of the Japanese national language and pre-WWII language policies in Japan. This fact is surprising because the successful implementation of a modern standard language was one of the key factors in the process of the building of Japan as a modern nation-state. The central hypothesis of this research is that this conspicuous absence stems from the projection of the modern nation-state on the past, resulting in a perception of Japanese polity as a basically homogeneous and unchanged continuum in time and space. An analysis of several texts by prominent Japanese scholars of the national language has revealed important differences in perception. One group, mainly those preoccupied with the didactics of the national language, tends to view the past in the light of a "homogenised" present. On the other hand, those scholars researching Japanese in the wider context of general linguistics seem to treat national language related issues in a much more critical and theoretically informed way.


Japanese language, kokugo (national language), language policy, projection, nation-state


Članek se osredotoča na možno intelektualno ozadje kot vzrok za pomanjkljivo pozornost, ki jo raziskovalci in pisci učbenikov posvečajo oblikovanju japonskega nacionalnega jezika in jezikovnim politikam na Japonskem pred 2. svetovno vojno. To dejstvo je presenetljivo, saj je bila uspešna implementacija modernega standardnega jezika eden od ključnih dejavnikov v procesu tvorjenja Japonske kot moderne nacionalne države. Osrednja hipoteza te raziskave je, da ta očitna odsotnost izhaja iz projekcije moderne nacionalne države na preteklost, ki je privedla do percepcije japonske državne tvorbe kot temeljno homogenega in nespremenjenega časovnega in prostorskega kontinuuma. Analiza več besedil vodilnih japonskih raziskovalcev nacionalnega jezika je razkrila nekaj pomembnih razlik v njihovih percepcijah. Ena skupina avtorjev, predvsem takih, ki se ukvarjajo z didaktiko nacionalnega jezika, vidi preteklost pretežno v luči homogenizirane sedanjosti. Po drugi strani raziskovalci, ki proučujejo japonski jezik v širšem kontekstu splošnega jezikoslovja, mnogo bolj kritično in teoretično podkovano obravnavajo teme, ki so vezane na nacionalni jezik.

Acta Linguistica Asiatica, Vol. 1, No. 1, 2011. ISSN: 2232-3317 http://revije.ff.uni-lj.si/ala/index

Ključne besede

Japonski jezik, kokugo (nacionalni jezik), jezikovna politika, projekcija, nacionalna država

1. Introduction

In this paper I try to shed some light on a rather surprising result of my recent study (Bekeš, 2011), i.e. the indifferent treatment that language policies since Meiji receive in Japanese high school history textbooks.

Consistent, state-endorsed, and often state-enforced language policies from the second half of the Meiji period onwards, which were aimed at the dissemination of the national language (kokugo) though finally failing in colonial territories, achieved their goal in the "inner provinces" (naichi) as well as in Hokkaido and Okinawa, contributing in the first half of the 20th century to a high degree of homogeneity regarding linguistic and ethnic identity in Japan (cf. Gottlieb, 2007, pp. 188-194).

In spite of this perceived importance of the role of the national language, most of the textbooks examined in Bekeš (2011) hardly mention any of these relevant issues. The only exception is Nihonshi B (History of Japan B), a textbook published by Sanseido publishers, which shows some concern with language policy issues during Meiji and pre-war Japan. Nonetheless, in spite of the importance of the issue, this concern does not go beyond introducing such examples merely as illustrations or instances of wider trends.

Based on the aforementioned facts, the following working hypothesis comes to mind. The fact that kokugo mondai (national language issues, including those in the analysed textbook material) are being perceived as something marginal might be a natural consequence of a certain view of society in general and history in particular. Namely the view where language is perceived as a more or less immutable, static context of historical developments and not as one of the essential factors, contributing on its own towards developments in society and at the same time being shaped by these developments, as was also the case with kokugo (national language), shaped and codified in the Meiji period. What is framing such views in Japan is most probably the mainstream way of doing research related to kokugo, and the mainstream representation of kokugo related issues in pedagogical and day to day discourse. It is this that may have in some way influenced the perception of the compilers of high school history textbooks.

To test the viability of the above hypothesis, in this paper I report the results of a pilot examination of some sources in the field of kokugogaku (national language studies).

I examined two monographs and two encyclopaedias. The first monograph is the sixth of the 7 tomes in a series of monographs on the Japanese language: Kamei, Takashi et al. (Eds.), (1965, /2007/) Nihongo no rekishi 6: atarashii kokugo e no ayumi

(History of the Japanese Language vol. 6: Steps Toward the New National Language). Tokyo: Heibonsha. The other is a monograph on the cultural history of language, focusing on Japanese in its cultural and historical context: Sugimoto Tsutomu (1982) Kotoba no bunkashi: Nihongo no kigen kara gendaigo made (Cultural history of language: from the origins to modern Japanese), Tokyo: Ofusha. The first of the two encyclopaedias is devoted to linguistics in general: Kamei Takashi et al. (Eds.), (1996) Gengogaku daijiten 2: Sekai gengo hen (The Great Dictionary of Linguistics vol. 2: Languages of the World). Tokyo: Sanseido. The other is an encyclopaedia covering explicitly facts pertaining to the Japanese language: Kindaichi Haruhiko et al. (1990) Nihongo hyakka daijiten (The Great Encyclopaedia of the Japanese Language). Tokyo: Taishukan.

2. A brief sketch of the premodern and modern linguistic situation in

The momentous nature of Meiji language reforms is most evident if we compare these developments with the premodern linguistic situation in Japan.

2.1 Premodern linguistic situation

The premodern linguistic situation of Japan, prevalent until the end of Tokugawa period and extending into the early part of Meiji period is characterised by the following factors:

Diglossia in the written language (cf. Kamei et al. (Eds.), 1996). Roughly speaking, written literary Chinese (kanbun [kundoku]) and written literary vernacular (bungo). While literacy in these two styles was limited to the elites, since the Kamakura (1185-1333) and Muromachi (1336 - 1573) periods, literacy in the spoken vernacular had emerged among commoners as well (cf. Amino, 1990).

Consolidation of political power under the Tokugawa shogunate. Relative peace and accompanying economic prosperity during the first half of the period resulted in vibrant literacy of city dwellers, as well as in the countryside, in the spread of printed media and the development of a new schooling system (hanko, terakoya) (1603 - 1868, cf. Kato, 1983, Vol II). With the political centre moving east to Edo, a new contact dialect, with elements of both eastern and western Japan dialects, formed there and consequently grew in importance, while Kyoto speech retained its prestige (cf. Frellesvig, 2010, Ch. 13).

No attempt at language standardization. The bakuhan political system of the Tokugawa period, splitting Japan into isolated han "feudal" domains and discouraging direct contact among them led to dialectal fragmentation of the country as is described by Gottlieb:

The political structure in place during the Tokugawa Period (1603-1868) contributed substantially to the need for placing a standard language high on the linguistic agenda during the following period. In the pre-modern period, Japan was segmented into a large number of local domains, each ruled by a local daimyo who reported to the shogun in Edo (today's Tokyo). Since the domains were relatively tightly sealed off from each other in the interests of the 'divide and rule' principle, and since travel was with very few exceptions forbidden to residents of each, local dialects flourished and little in the way of language (or dialect) contact took place. The de facto standard used throughout Japan by those who travelled during this period was based on the speech of Edo ... Gottlieb (2007, pp. 188-9)

The above situation in the second half of the Edo and early Meiji periods is a typical premodern situation, in line with the situation in pre-unification Italy, in the Habsburg and Ottoman Empires, in Russia etc., during more or less the same period. What makes it different is a relatively high degree of literacy as compared to Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe in the same period (cf. Shulze, 2003).

2.2 Linguistic situation during the Meiji period and afterwards

In spite of many similarities, there are significant differences between mid-19th century Japan and Central Europe. In contrast with Central Europe, Japan was politically unified. Presumably because of this, language standardisation was not perceived as an urgent task in the agenda of modernising Japan.

Modernising projects taken up by the Meiji regime were the abolition of the caste system, the abolition of the han system, the introduction of a centralised administration, the establishment of compulsory education (kokumin gakko), the implementation of universal military service, the inception of constitutional monarchy and the spread of modern printed media, colonial expansion, and in the mid 1880s steps towards the standardisation of language (cf. Benner, 2006).

During this time, influential articles and lectures by Ueda Kazutoshi (1867-1937), a Tokyo Imperial University academic who was greatly influenced by several years spent studying linguistics in Germany, compared the national language to the country's life blood and exhorted the government to ensure that it was treated with the degree of respect the language of a modern state deserved (e.g. Ueda, 1894). In Ueda's view, this involved improving the language through standardization and modernization, contrary to the views of purists who saw any form of artificially induced language change as an unwarranted attack on standards and tradition. Ueda and the group of students he trained in the methods of Western linguistics were instrumental in lobbying for the establishment in 1902 of the first official body charged with working on language issues, the National Language Research Council. As a result of the work of this body, the dialect of the Yamanote area of Tokyo was announced as the standard language in 1916. Gottlieb (2007, p.189)

Ruthless enforcement of standard language in public use (including methods such as the use of ho gen fuda "dialect placards" as punishment in compulsory education1) was concomitant with a wish for modernisation in the provinces (cf. Ichimiya, in this volume), strict government control on teaching contents, the spread of new media which accompanied economic prosperity after WW I, total mobilisation under ultranationalist regimes preceding and during the years leading to the war in China, SE Asia and the Pacific (cf. Frellesvig, 2010; Gottlieb, 2007; Komori, 2000).

Language thus played a prominent role in the ideological construction of the Japan for

which the war was being fought, possibly second only to the Emperor as the symbol

of ultranationalist values. (See Gottlieb 1995). Gottlieb (2007, p. 192)

The successful spread of kokugo had as a consequences the view that kokugo was a homogeneous entity extending territorially in the politically consolidated territory and temporally (i.e., the projection of kokugo and the modern nation-state backward in time). Dialects as its obvious varieties were considered to be enriching kokugo itself. Therefore it is no wonder that the great works of classical literature from Man 'yoshu to Ugetsumonogatariwere all seen as written in kokugo. (cf. Yasuda, 1999a).2

Parallel with this development, deep penetration of the Japanese language in the colonies, i.e., Taiwan, Korea, to a lesser extent Manchukuo, was taking place as well. (See Yasuda, 1997; Osa, 1998; Tani, 2000).

3. Analysis of the material

For the sake of expediency, the following shorthand will be used for the sources analysed:

• Kamei Takashi et al. (Eds.), (1965, /2007/) Nihongo no rekishi 6 (History of Japanese 6) ® (1);

• Sugimoto Tsutomu (1982) Kotoba no bunkashi (Cultural History of Language) ® (2);

• Kamei Takashi et al. (Eds.), (1996) Gengogaku daijiten (The Great [Encyclopaedic] Dictionary of Linguistics) ® (3)

• Kindaichi Haruhiko et al. (1990) Nihongo hyakka daijiten (Encyclopaedia of the Japanese Language) ® (4).

1 Dialect placards were based on a method imported from the more "advanced" France, itself in 19th century extensively assimilating non-French speaking minorities. (cf. Pontecouteau 2002).

2 For a typical case of a similar projection, common in Slovene "patriotic" history and language circles, Prunk (1996) is a good example. Also see Shulze (2003) for Germany's projection onto Holly Roman Empire (i.e., the 1st Reich).

3.1 Nature of Japanese language and kokugo

Kamei et al. eds. (1965/2007) and Kamei et al. eds. 1996 , i.e., sources (1) and (3) present a rather detailed discussion of what constitutes kokugo, and make explicit its temporal and spatial characteristics. A characteristic aspect of this discussion is the systematic use of minzokugo (ethnic language) instead of kokugo (national language) in contexts where it is technically impossible to use the latter. Interesting is the view that the idea of kokugo was in a latent form already present in the thought of kokugakusha (national scholars) of the Tokugawa period, in the notion of mikuni kotoba (the language of the noble land) referring to the language of Japan as opposed to Chinese. At the same time (1) distinguishes a clear cut difference between kokugakusha s mikuni kotoba and the notion of kokugo, introduced during the Meiji period. The former has the nuance of preservation of the existing vernacular cultural heritage, as opposed to the perceived encroachment of classical Chinese, while the latter is connected with the modernising project of developing latent linguistic potentials as a communication medium. Source (1) also makes explicit the difference between kokugo (national language [of Japan]) and nihongo (Japanese language) as two different notions, pointing out the polysemy in the use of kokugo: (i) language recognised as one nation's own language; (ii) in particular - Japanese; (iii) Japanese linguistic elements remaining after the removal of Sino-Japanese lexical elements, i.e., proper Japanese elements; (iv) not just as an object of scholarly study, but Japanese as a subject in the school curriculum in the existing educational system. Thus, kokugo is inappropriate as a term for the object of scientific linguistic study, which can only be nihongo -Japanese. From the point of view of kokugogaku (kokugo studies), the scientific study of Japanese is relevant only as a means for the advancement of kokugogaku, and not as an inherent goal of scientific study in itself (See Kamei et al. eds., 1965/2007, pp. 197202).

The description in source (3) being an encyclopaedic dictionary of linguistics, is less explicit because of limited space, but the relevant text is by the same author, Kamei, following the same lines as (1). See Kamei et al. (1996, pp. 1629-32).

The overall impression both sources give is that of an impartial, objective approach to the realities concerning the development of the Japanese language.

Sugimoto (1982), i.e., source (2), being a monograph on the cultural history of language, illustrated with the developments in Japanese, is less extensive in coverage than (1). Here, kokugo as a notion is given no explicit treatment though political implications of kokugo education are mentioned in several places from a critical standpoint. Thus there is a critical assessment of kanji policies, critique of the goals the Meiji government had with kokugo kyoiku (national language education) at the expense of regional varieties of Japanese, and finally, a critical assessment of the results of Meiji style kokugo kyoiku, i.e., the long lasting split between "elite" centre and "coarse" countryside.

Language policies in Meiji are explained in the context of Meiji state policies and goals of modernisation and militarisation of Japan.

Kindaichi et al. (1990, pp. 1227-1242), i.e., source (4), treats kokugo as a given fact, there is no discussion of its historical and ideological properties (cf. Kindaichi, 1990, p. 1227). The Japanese state and its language are presented as an unchanging and unproblematic continuum at least since the 1st half of the 1st millennium CE (ibid., p. 1229). Such a view is in clear contradiction with established historical facts and is a clear case of projection of the present state of affairs onto the past. In this context the use of the emotionally and politically loaded term wagakuni (our country), not found in the other three sources, is emblematic.3

In our country (wagakuni) there was no indigenous system of letters to write the language of one's own country. From 4c to 5c CE, through the contact with Chinese characters that were introduced together with cultural artefacts from China, writing became known. Since then, using various devices, Chinese characters, i.e., the characters to write Chinese, came to be used for writing Japanese.

LT^ofco Kindaichi et al. eds. (1990, p. 1229), translated by A.


3.2 Autochthonous minorities - Ryukyu/Okinawa and Ainu

Sources (1), (3). In source (1) the harsh treatment of Okinawa, including the use of hogen fuda "dialect placards" in relation to teaching standard language, are mentioned in detail (cf. Kamei et al. eds. 1965/2007, pp. 367-8). On the other hand, the same source does not mention the cultural and linguistic assimilation of Ainu.

In (3) autochthonous minorities are treated under extensive entries devoted to Ryukuyu/Okinawan and Ainu while under the entry of the history of Japanese language, they are not mentioned.

Source (2). The Ainu people and language are mentioned only in the context of the origins and genetic affiliation of Japanese. Ryukyu/Okinawa receives no mention. (Sugimoto, 1982, pp. 282-298).

Source (4). Conspicuous is highhanded treatment of Ainu people and Ryukyu/Okinawa people as mere minorities. The issue of preserving minorities' linguistic and cultural identity is presented as too petty for the Japan state to be preoccupied with. In addition, Ryukyu/Okinawan is mentioned as a dialect though it is

3 The emotional load of wagakuni can be observed, among others, on blogs, such as Internet source 3.

totally unintelligible for people from the Japanese mainland islands and though it had an independent written tradition of its own before the annexation to Japan. Repression of dialects (hogen bokumetsu) is mentioned (without specifics) as an accidental fact, which, in a more relaxed atmosphere after WW II, was unfortunately perceived as coercion and enforcement of hyojungo "standard language". (Kindaichi et al. Eds., 1990, p. 1228).

3.3 Language policies in the colonies

Korea being directly annexed and prepared for cultural and linguistic assimilation, and Taiwan also being under a very close colonial rule, language policies in the prewar Japanese colonies were closely connected with language policies in naichi (mainland Japan). In the light of research done by Osa (1998) and Yasuda (1997, 1999a, 1999b) among others, on the intrinsic relationship between script reforms in the colonies and the mainland, it is surprising that this issue receives no mention in any of the examined materials.

3.4 Focus of description

Sources (1), (2), (3) share a common focus: while presenting relevant linguistic facts concerning the development of Japanese, they also introduce a considerable amount of social, cultural and historic context information in a polemic mode. On the other hand, Source (4) presents technical facts while providing less context for their understanding. When the context is given at all, facts from the context tend to be presented in a mechanistic way, not revealing the causal relationship with the linguistic facts.

4. Discussion

Source (1), Kamei et al. (Eds.), (1965 /2007) is a work meant for both experts and for the wider public. Similarly, Source (2), Sugimoto (1982) is a work more oriented towards the general public and technically not very demanding. On the other hand, Source (3), Kamei et al. (Eds.), (1996) being an encyclopaedic dictionary of linguistics, is a technical work primarily meant as a reference for fellow linguists. All three sources, despite some limitations, and regardless of whether they are meant for the general public or for experts, provide a rather objective treatment of relevant issues.

Source (4), Kindaichi et al. (Eds.), (1990), being an encyclopaedic dictionary of the Japanese language, is basically also intended as a reference work for a more technically demanding audience of experts working on various aspects of Japanese language (from teaching Japanese as the 1st language to teaching it as a 2nd language and for linguistic and philological research). In spite of this, the entries examined here

do not compare well with related parts of the other three works; they seem to be less scientifically rigorous and reflect a more utilitarian approach common in mainstream kokugogaku. In (4), a priori identification with utilitarian goals of promoting the national language is seen in particular from the treatment of the nature of kokugo and Japanese language. It seems that there is no distinction between the two. This is in stark contrast with the treatment in Kamei et al. (Eds.), (1965/2007, pp. 201-202), which gives a clear picture of the loose usage of the term. Also, in Kindaichi's treatment there seems to be an ideologically based temporal and spacial projection of the term backwards in time and to the territory of the modern Japanese state. Also, the coercive phase of the introduction of standard language (hyojungo), involving deeply divisive issues such as the aforementioned use of hogen fuda "dialect placards", is presented so as to imply that such practices might have only been a remote possibility. Other authors (i.e., Kamei et al.) treat this issue in a much more critical way.

One thing common to all the materials is the omission of any treatment of language policies in the colonies. This omission may reveal an implicit understanding of priorities, that language is indeed a kokugo (national language) whose relevant treatment is necessarily limited to the territory of the nation in question. One further fact supporting this view is also the systematic omission in all four materials of any mention of language problems of the rather numerous Japanese diaspora in USA and South America.

5. Conclusion

While all the four sources display hints of biases based on the identification of language with the territorial nation-state in their view of the linguistic processes in Japan, description in Kindaichi et al. (Eds.), (1990) clearly emerges as the odd one out with its apparent lack of objective reflection and clearly discernible patriotic fervour seen in the projection of the modern homogenised nation state and its national language image back in times when both social and political organisation as well as linguistic situation was entirely different from the one in a modern nation state. Such attitude is also seen in the use of expressions such as wagakuni, which would be more appropriate in a political speech than in an encyclopaedic entry of a technical publication.

Kindaichi et al. views on kokugo and its corresponding nation state are not limited to the authors but seem to be, through compulsory education and its accompanying textbook industry, accepted under the auspices of the nation state authority, and far more current among the general public than the views of other authors.

If we view the national language as basically being present since times immemorial and being homogeneously spread all over the national territory, with the dialects, once safely subdued under the standardisation and being just a colourful addition of the local taste, then the radical and profound language reforms being

implemented during the later part of Meiji period do not appear as such at all. They are just reforms in a long string of language reforms, which after WW II include periodical adjustment of kanji to be learned or of kana orthography.

And being just one episode in a long series of such reforms, they indeed, in the view of history textbook authors, do not deserve the attention of high school children, cramming themselves for the entrance exams and can as such be happily omitted. Which is exactly what seems to be the case.


The research presented in this paper was supported by JSPS and ARRS project funding. An earlier version was presented at the "Comparative Analysis Of History Textbooks In Japan And Slovenia: Structures, Contents and Interpretations" (2nd Workshop, Tokyo, 17-18 December, 2010).

Materials examined

1. Kamei, T., Yamada, T., & Oto T. (Eds.). (1965, /2007/). Nihongo no rekishi 6: atarashii

kokugo he no ayumi (History of Japanese language pt.6: steps toward the new national language). Tokyo: Heibonsha. #, JH W& , ^ (ffi) (1965,/2007 ^J/)

2. Sugimoto T. (1982). Kotoba no bunkashi: Nihongo no kigen kara gendaigo made (Cultural

history of language: from the origins to modern Japanese). Tokyo: Ofusha. ^^o t ^ (1982) , »tt, SS.

3. Kamei, T., Kono R., & Chino E. (Eds.). (1996). Gengogaku daijiten 2: Sekaigengo hen (The

great dictionary of linguistics pt. 2: Languages of the World). Tokyo: Sanseido. ft^^, MSJ^, TSJ^— (ffi) (1996) I2i t#figj ,

S, SS. (Entries examined as relevant: p. 1629-32 (authored by Kamei Takashi ft^ #).

4. Kindaichi, H., Shibata, T., & Hayashi O. (Eds.). (1990). Nihongo hyakka daijiten (The great

encyclopaedia of Japanese language). Tokyo: Taishukan. —

(@ (1990, 4 SS. (Entries examined

as relevant: (i) (6 r^.^E-BgiPJ ) , (ii) rf^ftftfi

^WJ (i raM^MtBM^^j ) .


Amino, Y. (H^^^) (1990). Nihonron no shiza: retto no shakai to kokka (Aspects of

'Nihonron': the societies and the state in the archipelago B^ff^ Mffi--^

^t g^). Tokyo: Shogakukan.

Anderson, B. (1998). Zamišljene skupnosti: o izvoru in širjenju nacionalizma (translation of Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism, 1983, Verso). Ljubljana: SH.

Bekeš, A. (2011). Conspicuous absence: 'national language' in Japanese history textbooks. Inter Faculty, Vol. 2. Electronically published by Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Tsukuba.

(https://journal.hass.tsukuba.ac.jp/interfaculty/article/view/28, accessed April 21, 2011).

Benner, E. (2006). Japanese national doctrines in international perspective. In N. Shimazu (Ed.), Nationalisms in Japan. Abingdon: Routledge.

Bourdieu, P. (1992). Language as symbolic power, Cambridge: Polity Press.

Burke, P. & Porter, P. (Eds.). (1988). The Social History of Language, Cambridge: Cambridge UP.

De Swaan, A. (2001). Words of the World. Cambridge: Polity.

Frellesvig, B. (2010). A history of the Japanese language. Cambridge: Cambridge UP.

Geary, P. (2005). Miti narodov (translation of Europäische Völker in Mittelalter, Fischer Taschernbuch Verlag 2002). Ljubljana: SH.

Gottlieb, N. (1995). Kanji Politics: Language Policy and Japanese Script. London: Kegan Paul International

Gottlieb, N. (2007). Japan. In A. Simpson (Ed.), Language and National Identity in Asia (pp. 186-199). Oxford: Oxford UP.

Hudson, M. J. (1999). Ruins of identity: ethnogenesis in the Japanese Islands. Honolulu: University of Hawai'I Press.

Joseph, J. E. (2004). Language and identity: national, ethnic, religious. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan.

Katö, S. (1983). A history of Japanese literature. Translated by Don Sanderson. Vol. II: The years of isolation; Vol. III: The modern years. London and Basingstoke: Macmillan Press.

Komori, Y. (h^l—) (2000). Nihongo no kindai (Japanese in the modern times , 0 ^gp© Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten Publishers.

Lee, Y. (4 • (1996). Kokugo toiu shisö: kindai Nihon no gengo ninshiki (The

ideology of national language: understanding of language in modern Japan, Ho 0 ,Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten Publishers.

Luthar, O. (Ed.). (2008). The Land Between: A History of Slovenia. Frankfurt: Peter Lang.

Makoni, S. & Pennycock A. (Eds.) (2007). Disinventing and Reconstituting Languages. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters Ltd.

Osa, S. (^Jëft/I) (1998) Kindai Nihon to kokugo nashonarizumu (Modern Japan and

national language nationalism, Ho^^ A), Tokyo: Yoshikawa


Ohsawa, M. & Kang S. (2009). On nationalism: theory, history and

area study, (^>3 *t]) XAi • AF!), Tokyo: Yuhikaku Publishing Co.

Pontecouteau, H. (2002). Devenir bretonnant. Découvertes, appretissages et réappropriation dune langue. Rennes: Presses universitaires de Rennes.

Prunk, J. (1996). A brief history of Slovenia. Ljubljana: Založba Grad.

Rodrigues, J. [1604-1608] Arte da Lingoa de Iapam ( 0 nihon daibunten)

comp./transl. by Doi, T. (1955). Nihon Daibunten. Tokyo: Sanseidö.

Shimazu, N. (Ed.). (2006). Nationalisms in Japan. Abingdon: Routledge.

Shulze, H. (2003). Država in nacija v evropski zgodovini (Translation of Staat un Nation in der europaeischen Geschichte, 1994 C.H. Beck'sche Verlagbuchshandlung, Muenchen, Series Making of Europe), series Delajmo Evropo, Ljubljana: Zaloüba *cf.

Simpson, A. (Ed.). (2007). Language and National Identity in Asia. Oxford: Oxford UP.

Spolsky, B. (2009). Language Management. Cambridge: Cambridge UP.

Tajfel, H. (1974). Social identity and intergroup behaviour. Social Science Information, 13, 65-93.

Tanaka, K. (1981). Kotoba to kokka (Language and the state, "a^tS^),

Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten Publishers.

Tanaka, K. (B (1991). Gengo kara mita minzoku to kokka (Ethnicity and state as

seen from the language, gro^t^fcSlt S^), Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten Publishers.

Tani, Y. (2000). Daitoa kyoeiken to nihongo. (Greater East Asia co-prosperity

zone and Japanese, ^^ffiÄ^H t 0 ^gp, Tokyo: Keiso Shobo.

Watanabe, M. (^ffl^) (1999). Nihongo shiyösetsu (The essential history of Japanese, 0 ^ raíf^, Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten Publishers.

Yasuda, T. (^Bft^l) (1997). Shokuminchi no nakano 'kokugogaku': Tokieda Motoki to Keijo Teikokudaigaku o megutte ('The National language studies' in the colony: Tokieda Motoki and the Seoul Imperial University, rSMfj Pffö^f t

Si^S^f^feCot), Tokyo, Sangensha.

Yasuda, T. (^Bft^l) (1999a). Kokugo to högen no aida: gengo köchiku no seijigaku (Between the 'national language' and 'dialect': the political science of language construction, (SM) t (^W) Kyoto: Jinbun


Yasuda, T. (^Bft^l) (1999b). 'Gengo' no köchiku: Ogura Shinpei to shokuminchi Chösen (Constructing a language: Ogura Shinpei and Korea under colonial rule, T^goj ©S

Tokyo: Sangensha.

Internet sources

Internet source 1; http://www.mofa.go.jp/mofaj/area/taisen/kentei.html (retreived Aug. 25, 2010).

Internet source 2: http://www.mext.go.jp/a menu/shotou/kyoukasho/gaiyou/04060901.htm

(retreived Aug. 25, 2010). Internet source 3: http://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/success0965/11335415.html (retreived April 16, 2011).

Analyzed history and kokugo textbooks (Bekes 2011)

Aoki, M. et al. (W^^^^IÉ^) (2009). Nihon shi B kaiteiban (Japanese history revised

edition 1 B^i B ÄfT^J ), Tokyo: Sanseido. Katö, S. (supervision), Iguchi Tokio et al. (Eds.). ( ÜüWM—^, (2007).

Kokugo sögo kaiteiban (General Japanese, revised edition, Sfn&i^ÄiT®), Tokyo: Kyoiku Shuppan.

Komachiya, T. et al. (^BJ^M^fe^) (2007). Seisen gendai bun (Selected modern writing, ^MMfti), Tokyo: Tokyo shoseki.

Ökawa, K. et al. (Eds.). (^jl|£—fe^)(2005). Kokugo sögo (General Japanese, Slg^), Tokyo: Chikuma shobo.

Sasayama, H. et al. (2010). Shösetsu Nihonshi Bkaiteiban (Detailed Japanese

history B, revised edition , ^ÄB^i B HT®), Tokyo: Yamakawa shuppansha.

Satö, S. et al. (fe^iafeitfi) (2008). Shösetsu Nihonshi kenkyu kaiteiban (Detailed study of Japanese history - revised edition, ^bÄ B^iW^HT®), Tokyo: Yamakawa shuppansha.

Morphology and Syntax in Holes and Scratches: The Latest Stage of Kugyol Research

LEE Yong

Korea Foundation & University of Ljubljana leeyonghu@hotmail.com


The first part of this article reviews the differences between the Chinese, Korean and Japanese languages, and explains the importance of Buddhist texts in the history of these languages, especially in the development of written languages in Korea and Japan. The kugyol tradition (a convention for adding Korean grammatical markers at appropriate places to aid the reading of originally Chinese texts) is then explained with concrete examples in three parts: eumdok kugyol (transliteration kugyol), seokdok kugyol (translation kugyol), and jeomto seokdok-kugyol (traslation kugyol with point marks). The latest developments in kugyol research were seen in the 21st century, after the discovery of Yugasijiron in the year 2000, including the detailed point maps. Some questions concerning the jeomto seokdok-kugyol are still open.


interpretation of Buddhist texts, Korean, classic Chinese, eumdok kugyol, seokdok kugyol, jeomto kugyol, jeomto


Prvi del članka obravnava razlike med kitajskim, korejskim in japonskim jezikom ter poudarja pomembnost budističnih besedil v zgodovini omenjenih jezikov, zlasti pri oblikovanju pisnih jezikov v Koreji in na Japonskem. V glavnem delu razlaga tradicijo kugyol (konvencijo, po kateri se dodajajo slovnični znaki na ustreznih mestih kot pomoč pri branju prvotno kitajskih besedil) z dejanskimi primeri v treh delih: eumdok kugyol (transliteracijski kugyol), seokdok kugyol (prevajalski kugyol) in jeomto seokdok-kugyol (prevajalski kugyol z dodajanjem pik). Najnovejše v raziskavi kugyol tradicije je bilo narejeno v tem stoletju, po odkritju Yugasjiron v letu 2000, npr. Podrobna porazdelitev pik idr. Nekatera vprašanja v zvezi z jeomto seokdok-kugyol ostajajo odprta.

Ključne besede

interpretacija budističnih besedil, korejščina, klasična kitajščina, eumdok kugyol, seokdok kugyol, jeomto kugyol, jeomto

Acta Linguistica Asiatica, Vol. 1, No. 1, 2011. ISSN: 2232-3317 http://revije.ff.uni-lj.si/ala/index

1. Introduction (Historical background)

At present, each of the three countries of East Asia, China, Korea and Japan, has its own independent writing system. Before the 7th century however, the Korean and Japanese peoples, though they possessed their own languages, had no writing systems of their own. Later, they developed their own writing systems, based on Chinese characters. This paper is related to the history of the development of these writing systems.

The languages of these three peoples differ. Typologically speaking, Chinese is an SVO language but Korean and Japanese are SOV languages. In addition, Korean and Japanese are different in many respects, and there exists no concrete theory to prove that they are related in the sense of European comparative linguistics.

In general, literature written in Korea falls into three categories: 1) works written in the early transcription systems, 2) those written in hangul, and 3) those written in Chinese. (cf. Encyclopaedia Britannica, Academic Edition) In this article, we will concentrate on the first category of Korean writings of which the content is typically Buddhist teachings from 8th century on.

Some Buddhist texts are common to both Korean and Japanese. Korean and Japanese scholars from around the 6th century and later were eager to learn from China in order to unite their peoples. Buddhism was one of the strongest means available. However, the original Buddhist teachings written in Chinese needed translation and interpretation into languages which were otherwise spoken among people but had no writing system of their own. It means that the interpretation of Buddhism coincided with the formation of the written languages of these peoples.

The understanding of Korean kugyol tradition may demonstrate how a nation may develop devices in order to understand foreign data when lacking their own writing system. These devices are characterized by additions of phonetic, semantic and syntactic markers made by brush and ink, as well as holes and scratches made by a stylus on paper.

2. Modern writing systems of China, Korea and Japan

Firstly, we need to examine simple sentences in today's Chinese, Korean and Japanese to demonstrate how they differ, especially syntactically. See example sentences below:

(1) Chinese: M g #

wa ai ni

I to love you "I love you."

(2) Korean:

4 ^ ^ «

Na n i n na r i l sarangha

I [topic] you [acc] to love "I love you."

(3) Japanese:


[ending marker]

Watasi wa anata o aisi masu I [topic] you [acc] to love [ending marker]

"I love you."

As we can see, Korean and Japanese sentences are rather similar in word order, SOV, and the functions of particles (or postpositions). On the other hand, Chinese has no such particles, and the word order is SVO.

As for the letters and characters, while the Chinese have used logographic characters since around 3000 years B.C., the Japanese have retained some logographic Chinese characters which are used today in combination with syllabic characters called kana. This Japanese system has developed from the 8th century on and is generally still in use. The Koreans today use hangul, which has developed since the 15th century, a phonemic alphabet organized into syllabic blocks (cf. example sentence (2) above and Figure 1 below).

Letters (consonants)

sound value

letters (vowel)

sound value


[g, k]








[d, t]



[r, l]







[b, p]






















Figure 1 hangul alphabet

Figure 1 hangul alphabet

Each block of hangul letters consists of at least two of the 24 hangul letters (jamo with at least one each of the 14 consonants and 10 vowels. These syllabic blocks can be written horizontally from left to right, as well as vertically from top to bottom in columns from right to left.

But before the development of this hangul system, the Koreans started writing down their language around the 5th century by using Chinese characters. Then they developed their own transcription systems, idu1, hyangcha/ and kugyol. The present article examines the kugyol system.

3. Kugyol (P^)

Kugyol has two kinds of meaning. One refers to the letters which are used in kugyol texts. The second refers to texts with kugyol letters. In the former case, kugyol were the Korean markers added to purely Chinese text (Chung, 2003). In Korea, when reading a text written in literary Chinese, there was a convention for adding Korean grammatical elements at appropriate places to aid the reading of the text. These added elements were called kugyol. In other words, kugyol letters were the devices used to read and understand Chinese texts (Kim, 2001). Usually, a kugyol letter is made by taking a part of an original Chinese character and it is then slightly changed in form to form a kugyol marker : ex. 'I , 1 , ° . The principle of the formation of kugyol letters

closely resembles the formation of kana in Japanese. (See Figure 2 and Figure 3.)


































A S!



































Figure 2 Seokdok-kugyol letters and original Chinese characters

Figure 2 Seokdok-kugyol letters and original Chinese characters

1 Idu is an archaic writing system that represents the Korean language by using hanja (Chinese characters). The term idu is used in two senses. It may refer to various systems of representing Korean phonology through Chinese characters. In this sense it includes hyangchal and kugyol writing. In the narrower sense it refers solely to the system which was used in official documents.


Hyangchal is the most highly developed form of Korean transcription in Chinese characters. It can be found in the vernacular poetry known as hangga.

Figure 3 Kana letters and original Chinese characters (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kana)

The kugyol letters were used to denote grammatical elements and inserted into originally Chinese texts for easier interpretation among Koreans. There are largely two kinds of kugyol texts in Korea. One is eumdok kugyol (=transliteration kugyol), the other is seokdok kugyol (=translation kugyol); the latter are older than the former. The oldest text with kugyol interpretation is Hwaeommuneuiyogyeol (^ ® ^ ft

M ^ ), the annotation of the Hwaeomkyeong 3 . The Korean original of Hwaeommuneuiyogyeol is lost but a copy has existed in Japan since the 8th century.

There exist many Buddhist sutras in Korea, all of them with kugyol interpretation using kugyol letters. Of these, five seokdok-kugyol texts are especially important in kugyol study. 4 One of the representative texts with kugyol is Kuemkwang myeonggyeong Kuemkwang-myeonggyeong includes seokdok and jeomto

kugyol. We will explain this point in the next chapter.

r n

1 if

£ i



* m

3: i


P <

x m

-t -tfr

v t

t -t

y Ji]

b jh

-r £

t -k

t- #

s> n

t tt

7 *

'N 4f>

$ #

T ^


/ -k

t JL

■<f 4L

| VI

-3- ¿j


# &J


H- ¿1

er S

n fa

i *

U 4

7 -t

> fr

3 Hwaeumkyeong (^Mfe, The Avatafflsaka Sutra) is one of the most influential Mahayana Sutras of East Asian Buddhism. The title is rendered in English as Flower Garland Sutra, Flower Adornment Sutra, or Flower Ornament Scripture. The Avataffsaka Sutra describes a cosmos of infinite realms upon realms, mutually containing one other.

4 These are five seokdok kugyol texts.

1) Taebanggwangbul-hwaeomkyeongso (^^Mft^KfeD), vol. 35: Xylographic book, Presumed to be a 12 th century publication.

2) Taebanggwangbul-hwaeomkyong (^^Mft^Kfe), vol. 14. Xylographic book. Presumed to be a late 12th-early 13th century publication.

3) Keumgwangmyeonggyeong Bffe), vol. 3. Xylographic book. Presumed to be a 13th century publication, and considered to have belonged to the same category as Yugasajiron. The first and the last two pages of the volume are assumed to have been written by a different writer from the rest of the text.

4) Kuyoek-inwanggyong (^ I^t^fe) vol. 1. Xylographic book. Only 5 page remain. 25 lines per page, and 17 characters per line. Presumed to have been written in the 13th century.

5) Yugasajiron Yogacarabhumi-sastra), also known as Discourse on the Stages of Yogic Practice is the encyclopaedic and definitive text of the Yogacara school of Buddhism. It is thought to have been composed in India between 300 and 350 CE. Vol. 20. Xylographic book. This book shows the latest linguistic characteristics among the existing Seokdok-kugyol material.

5 Kuemkwangmyeonggyeong (^^^fe, The Suvarnaprabhasa-sutra) is a Buddhist text of the Mahayana branch of Buddhism. Its first reading as a court ceremony was around 660 AD, when the Tang Dynasty of China and Silla of Korea had defeated Baekche (HM) of Korea and were threatening Japan.

In the following sections, we will explain exactly how the system of kugyol interpretation is organized.

3.1 Eumdok kugyol (=Transliteration kugyol, ^^ P

Let us look at an example of eumdok kugyol from the Analects of Confucius.6 (See Figure 4)

Here we can see two kugyol letters. One is ^ and the other is P . The former has the meaning 'if' in English and the latter has the function of interrogative marker. The main characteristic of the eumdok-kugyol is the position of kugyol letters at the end of each phrase or sentence. As we see, the main functions of eumdok-kugyol letters are case markers and sentence ending markers.

The eumdok-kygyol letters were used from the end of the Goryo dynasty (13th century) to the Chosun dynasty (14-20th century). These eumdok-kugyol texts were studied only by a handful of people.

Figure 4 An example from the Analects

(4a) classical Chinese:

% m ft % z * ^ m ¥

to learn and time, often to learn it not too glad [interrogative] "Is it not pleasant to learn with constant perseverence and application?"

(4b) with eumdok-kugyol :

% M ft % z- * ^ tt ff

to learn and time, often to learn [if, ^[myen]] not too glad [interrogative, öHa])] "Is it not pleasant to learn with constant perseverence and application?"

(4c) Korean translation:

^^ ^ ^ ^^ 7]™! öj-u| ^7}?

to learn and time, often to learn if too glad not [interrogative] "Is it not pleasant to learn with constant preseverence and application?"

6 Noneo (Lún Yü, English: Analects), also known as the Analects of Confucius, are considered a

record of the words and acts of the central Chinese thinker and philosopher Confucius and his disciples, as well as the discussions they held. Written during the Spring and Autumn Period through the Warring States Period (ca. 475 BCE - 221 BCE).

3.2 Seokdok-kugyol (=Translation kugyol, S^D^)

The discovery of Kuyeok-inwangkyeong (^Ptlfe) (See Figure 5, footnote 4, number 4) which is one of seokdok-kugyol texts changed the situation in the study of kugyol. This text was found in the temple Chungcheongnamdo seosan munsu (/S^WS ^ ^^^) in 1973. Scholars saw that the kugyol in this text was more

complicated and detailed than eumdok kugyol. The seokdok-kugyol system has the following characteristics:

• Kugyol letters are placed not only on the right, but also on the left side of the original rows of Chinese text.

• There are some purely syntactic markers which are never pronounced (and they mean "do read", "skip reading", "return and read the skipped part now" etc.)

• Seokdok-kugyol markers are introduced to point out the meaning of the original Chinese character and instruct for phonetically Korean reading.

• Additional markers are introduced for modality, aspect etc. to be read in Korean.

Below is an example of Chinese classics read in Korean with kugyol devices. To read kugyol texts, we need to know the following rules:

• kugyol letters on the right side must be read in the first phase,

• kugyol letters on the left side must be skipped in the first phase,

• the reversal mark ( ^ ) is the key of reading and means "go back from this point to the kugyol character on the left side."

Therefore, one can read from the first purple line to the second purple line in Figure 5 as below:

Figure 5 kuyeok-inwangkyeong

(5a) original text ([ ] marks kugyol letters on the left side): W[] to exist, to have (part of verb+perf.+conj.)

5 five

^ -t way (gen.)


entire, every

'I " living things (subj.)

"all living things of five directions exist"

(5b) in Korean word order:

-t [s] Five way (gen.)

entire, every living things (subj.)

'i [i]

^ tfv [s-kya-mya] to exist, to have (part of verb+perf.+conj.) "all living things of five directions exist"


(5c) reconstruction:

Five way (gen.) entire, every living things (subj.) W to exist, to have (part of verb+perf.+conj.)

"all living things of five directions exist"

(5d) translation in modern Korean: [A Five way (gen.)


entire, every

living things (subj.)

to exist, to have (part of verb+perf.+conj.) "all living things of five directions exist"

When we read this part, we will first meet ^f [ -tfv ] . In ^f [ -tfv ] , [ ] represents the kugyol on the left side, so we do not need to read this in the first phase of reading. The first kugyol which we read is -t. And then we meet 'I and - . Here -is a reverse marker. When we meet this marker, we should go back to ^f [ -t ? v ]. We can see the result in (5b). (5a) is the arrangement in Chinese word order but (5b) is the arrangement in Korean word order. If we just follow indications by kugyol devices, we can translate Chinese classics into Korean.

We can read the rest of the text with the same method.

< Kuyeokinwangkyeong; 02:01 >

(6a) original text ([ ] marks kugyol letters on the left side):

^ Also(part of adv.)

-tfv] to exist, to have (part of verb+perf.+conj.)

5 five

^ -t way (gen.)

—^ entire, every

^ - living things (subj.)

f " 1 Also(part of adv.)

f to exist, to have (part of verb+perf.+conj.)

fe^ ^ other directions (gen.)

Oat] not (part of neg.+noun+gen.)

^[-t can (part of adj.+suf.+mod.)

m to count (suf.+dev.)

M - living things

"Also there are all living things of five directions and also in other directions there are uncountable living things"

(6b) in Korean word order ({} marks a character not to be pronounced in f " 1 [hAn] Also (part of adv.)

* [s]


'I [i]

five way (gen.) entire, every living things (subj.)

W tfv [s-kya-mya] m» 1 [ hAn] [s]

to exist, to have (part of verb+perf.+conj.) Also (part of adv.) other directions (gen.) to count (suf.+dev.) can (part of adj.+suf.+mod) not (part of neg.+noun+gen.) living things

to exist, to have (part of verb+perf.+conj.) "Also there are all living things of five directions and also in other directions there are uncountable living things"


W [ s-kya-mya]

'' 1 [homs-hAn] 6 -t [an-dji-nAs]

(6c) reconstruction:

î. S (part of adv.)

A five way (gen.)

—^ entire, every

M4 1 'I living things (subj.)

^^^ to exist, to have (part of verb+perf.+conj.)

î. S Also (part of adv.)

fe^A other directions (gen.)

5 to count (suf.+dev.) can (part of adj.+suf.+mod)

^^ not (part of neg.+noun+gen.)

M living things

^^^ to exist, to have (part of verb+perf.+conj.)

"Also there are all living things of five directions and also in other directions there are

uncountable living things"

(6d) translation in modern Korean:

H Also

five way (gen.) —m entire, every

living things (subj.)

to exist, to have (part of verb+perf.+conj.) H also

other directions (gen.) ^ uncountable

living things

to exist, to have (part of verb+perf.+conj.)

"Also there are all living things of five directions and also in other directions there are uncountable living things"

3.3 Jeomto Seokdok-kugyol (ffPi^MP^)

This kind of marking was first discovered in 20007 in the text Yugasajiron (MM cf. footnote 4, number 5). We have seen that different kugyol letters mark various syntactic, morphological and phonetic help for interpretation and translation of the original text. Jeomto, which means "point marks to translate into Korean" and are actually holes and scratches on paper, play the same role as that of the kugyol letters. Each jeomto corresponds to one kugyol letter or a group of kugyol letters (Chang, 2002).

Because jeomto is marked with a very sharp pointed pen which is called a stylus (Figure 6), it is difficult to find jeomto marks for us without special instruments (Kobayashi 2002). Scopes are used as special instruments to light texts (Figures 7a, 7b, 7c).

Figure 6 Stylus (reconstruction / Kobayashi Yoshinori)

7 In the year 2000, Kobayashi, a researcher of Japanese kunten texts (see also footnote 10), found additional markers which were not made by brush and ink, but made by the use of a stylus in Yugasajiron vol 5, 8.

When Korean read Chinese characters, they made small holes and scratches with a stylus on paper to read the text more fluently but with strict rules. In the following photos, we can find small holes and scratches.

H a H b It a It b

<Yugasajiron 08 01:06:08> <Yugasajiron 08 01:15:12>

Figure 8 (a) and (b) (characters ^T with points and lines) (Lee, 2004)

In Figure 8, a is the original picture and b is a painted picture. If somebody cannot see holes or scratches, he can get a hint from picture b. We can see points in a,H, and points and lines in b,|T.

Of seokdok-kugyol texts, Keumkwangmyeongkyeong (cf. footnote 4, number 3) is the only text which contains both kugyol letters and jeomto marks. So we can compare kugyol letters and jeomto by observing the Kuemkwangmyeongkyeong text.

Figure 9 The positions of kugyol points

As shown in Figure 9, the jeomto seokdok-kugyol markers in small dots correspond to the markers made by kugyol letters. This may mean that the help for interpretation of the original text is doubly marked in Keumkwangmyeongkyeong. If we concentrate on the character we can find two dots. Two dots are located on the right side of One is in the upper position, another in the central position. These dots correspond to each ° and &. ° is a coordinating conjunctive marker, and & is an objective marker.

After some research, all possible positions of jeomto points which correspond to various syntactic, morphological and phonetic markers were mapped as in Figure 10:

Figure 10 The point map of Yugasajiron (Chang, 2002)

By looking at existing texts closely, the researchers found out that approximately 15 additional texts were marked by holes and scratches.8

4. The latest findings and open questions

In this section we will examine Hwaeommuneuiyogyeol which is

presumed to be a text from the Silla dynasty (57 BE - 935 AD). Before examining Hwaeommuneuiyogyeol, we need to know Todaiji Fujumonko (, Todai Temple Buddhist Prayers Manuscript).

Todaiji Fujumonko is an early 9th century Buddhist text and is best known as a valuable resource for Japanese historical linguistics as well as Buddhist history. It was composed some time between 796-830. The manuscript was designated as a National Treasure of Japan in 1938, but destroyed in 1945 in fires resulting from the war. Only reproductions remain. Todaiji Fujumonko is primarily important as a resource for Early Middle Japanese. It is the oldest example of text written in kanji (Chinese characters) with katakana (phonetic alphabet) annotations. In addition, it exhibits many elements of Old Japanese grammar and vocabulary, as well as maintaining the phonetic distinction between /kol/ and /ko2/. It also contains accounts in several dialects. (cf. http:// en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Todaij i_Fuj umonk)

8 Jinbon Hwaeumkyeong (W^^®,!®) vol. 20: The late 9 AD- the early 10 AD, Seomam koseo museum.

Yugasajinron (iMMfttln) vol. 3: The first half of 11 AD, Horim museum.

Yugasajinron vol. 5, 8: The first half of 11 AD, Seomam koseo museum.

Jubon Hwaeum kyeong vol. 6, 22, 36, 57: The late 11 BC or The early 12 BC, Seomam

koseo museum.

Jubon Hwaeum kyeong (Ml^^Sfe) vol. 31, 34: The late 11 BC- the early 12BC, Horim museum.

This important text was actually written on the reverse of an older text, Hwaeommuneuiyogyeol (written by a Silla monk, Pyonwon) in the early 8th century. The latter is of interest in the context of jeomto kugyol. Hwaeommuneuiyogyeol has points and lines made by brush (Kobayashi, 2002). The jeomto points and lines on this text must have been made in late 8th century. Since a very similar method of interpretation and translation of Buddhist texts exists in Japan and in Japanese (the kunten system9), scholars did not know in which country the marks were made, i.e. in Korea or in Japan, or at which time the text was imported to Japan from the Korean peninsula. The scholars are also very curious about the identity of the writer, Pyonwon and if he was Korean or Japanese.

But Kobayashi (2002) insists that the points and lines in the text Hwaeummuneuiyogyeol are to be read in Korean. How this text can be read in Korean is shown below.

Figure 11 Hwaeom muneui yogyeol

Hwaeommuneuiyogyeol text:

(7 a) original text with jeomto: A & [23(0] [33(0]

six articles (top.) four volumes (declarative) "Six articles ard (written) in four volumes"

(7b) Korean interpretation with kugyol letters:

six articles (top.) four volumes (copula) (declarative) "Six articles ard (written) in four volumes"

(7c) reconstruction:

six articles (top.) four volumes (copula) (declarative) "Six articles ard (written) in four volumes"

(7d) translation in modern Korean:

six articles (top.) four volumes (copula) (declarative) "Six articles ard (written) in four volumes"

The point in the character made by red ink, represents a subject (or topic) marker. But this text can be read in Japanese, too. The important point in this

9 Kunten: Guiding markers for rendering Chinese classics into Japanese.

discussion is that the syntax markers (for example, the subject marker) are common to both languages and in reading it may be pronounced in Korean or Japanese.

Because Japanese syntax is similar to Korean syntax in many respects, it is difficult to decide if it is a Korean text or a Japanese text.

However, Kobayashi (2002) insists that Hwaeommuneuiyogyeol is a Korean text because:

• Its point map is similar to the point map of the 12th century Korean Hwaeomkyong. (Figure 12)

• We can find subject/topic markers in Hwaeommuneuiyogyeol, but there are no subject markers in Japanese texts before 8th century.

(Kim 2003) Hwaeommuneuiyogyeol












(Park 2006) Hwaeomkyeong

(Park 2006) Hwaeomkyeong

Figure 12 Point map of Hwaeommuneuiyogyeol and Hwaeomkyeong

Since Korean and Japanese are similar to each other, the following questions still remain open:

• Who made these points and lines and when?

• In what language did they read these texts?


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Classical Literature, Kugyol Studies, 7, 33-56.

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Kobayashi, Y. (2003). Silla Gyeongjeon-e Giipdoen Gakpil Munja-wa Buho - Kyoto-Otani Daehakjang Pan-bi-lyang-loneseoui Balgyeon (Charcters and Marks recorded in Silla Buddhist Sutra Pan-bi-lyang-lon of Kyoto-Otani University), Kugyol Studies, 10, 5-30.

Lee, S. (2001). On the Symbol-Kugyol O f ) noted on a text of Huayanjing (^gg), Kugyol Studies, 7, 1-32.

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Kinds of Gakpiljeomto Seokdok Kugyeol Texts and Their Decipherment on Jinbonhwaeomgyeong vol 20), Joseonhakbo, 183, Joseonhakhoe, 1-22.

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The Typology of Amredita Compounds in the Rgveda


University of Ljubljana t.ditrich@gmail.com


Amredita compounds in the Rgveda are considered to be a type of coordinative nominal construction, closely related to dvandva compounds. This article investigates amredita compounds against the background of other coordinative nominal constructions from Rgveda 1.1-1.50 which were analysed and compared with their parallel attestations in other mandalas of the Rgveda. The first fifty hymns of the Rgveda form an organic whole: they belong to the middle period in the Rgvedic chronology and address a rich variety of deities, providing a substantial amount of material to address the typological problems of amredita compounds. The article overviews the problems related to the typology of amredita compounds, their analysis in the Rgvedapadapatha and the AstadhyayT, examines all amredita compounds attested in Rgveda 1.1-1.50 and compares them with dvandva compounds, noting their interrelations, similarities and differences and consequently, identifies some of their typological features.


Vedic Linguistics, Rgvedic Exegesis, Typology of Nominal Compounds, Vedic Compounds, Amredita word-groups


Amredita zloženke se v vedskem kot tudi v klasičnem sanskrtu ponavadi klasificirajo kot poseben tip koordinativnih nominalnih zvez, ki so v tesnem sorodstvu z dvandva zloženkami. Prispevek raziskuje amredita zloženke v okviru vseh koordinativnih nominalnih zvez, ki so zabeležene v rgvedskih himnah 1.1-1.50 in jih analizira skupaj z njihovimi vzporednimi zabeležbami v vseh mandalah Rgvede. Prvih petdeset himen Rgvede predstavlja organsko celoto: v rgvedski kronologiji pripadajo srednjemu obdobju in so posvečene številnim različnim bogovom ter nudijo dovolj obsežno gradivo za raziskovanje tipoloških vprašanj povezanih z amredita zloženkami in drugimi koordinativnimi nominalnimi zvezami. Prispevek obravnava analizo amredita zloženk v Rgvedapadapathi in AstadhyayT, analizira vse amredita zloženke iz prvih petdesetih himn Rgvede, jih primerja z dvandva zloženkami in raziskuje njihove medsebojne podobnosti in razlike ter ugotavlja njihov razvoj in tipološke značilnosti.

Ključne besede

vedska lingvistika, eksegeza Rgvede, tipologija zloženk, vedske zloženke, amredita besedne skupine

Acta Linguistica Asiatica, Vol. 1, No. 1, 2011. ISSN: 2232-3317 http://revije.ff.uni-lj.si/ala/index

This article investigates amredita compounds in the Rgveda which have been viewed as one type of coordinative nominal construction. Materials for this research are drawn from the first fifty hymns of the Rgveda: all coordinative nominal constructions attested in these hymns were identified, analysed and compared with their parallel attestations in other mandalas of the Rgveda. The first fifty hymns of the Rgveda form an organic whole: they presumably belong to the middle period in the Rgvedic chronology and address a variety of deities, providing a substantial amount of material for investigation of coordinative nominal constructions, including amredita compounds. The article investigates the problems related to the typology and development of amredita compounds and especially their relationship with dvandva compounds.1

Amredita2 compounds, also called amredita word-groups, are comprised of an inflected form (usually a substantive, or less commonly an adjective, pronoun, adverb, preposition or numeral) which is repeated, giving the compound an intensive, distributive or iterative meaning (e.g. dive-dive "every day"). They are productive in the Rgveda, especially those comprised of two nouns. Before the typological questions related to amredita compounds are addressed here, their analysis in the earliest Rgvedic exegetical text, the Padapatha, will be discussed and the approach to amredita word-groups in the most important old Indian grammar, Panini's Astadhyayi, will be examined.

1. Analysis of Amredita Compounds in the Rgvedapadapatha

The Rgvedapadapatha ("Rgveda-word-text") gives all the words of the Rgvedasamhitapatha ("Rgveda-continuous-text") in a separated form, unaffected by the rules of euphonic combination or sandhi. As the earliest exegesis of the Rgveda — the first known commentary on the samhita text, dated around the end of the Brahmana period — its main purpose is the accurate preservation of the Rgveda during oral transmission. The text also clarifies the meaning of words and seems to be the earliest recorded grammatical analysis of the Rgveda (Jha, 1992, p. 1). In the Rgvedapadapatha the sandhis are dissolved and two kinds of pauses are used to keep separate meaningful units, i.e. they mark morpheme-boundaries or word-boundaries: a long pause (danda)3 always follows a pada ("word") — it separates the constituents of a sentence — and a shorter one (avagraha)4 separates the constituents of a word. Components of a compound are separated by an avagraha: this indicates that the components are analysed in the padapatha as constituents of internal pada.

1 The research leading to the results in this paper has received funding from the Seventh Framework Programme [FP7/2007-2013] under PIRG02-GA-2007-224432.

2 The term amredita means literally "repetition, reduplication" (a-mred- "to repeat"; see MW 147).

3 Danda is transliterated with a single space.

4 Avagraha is transliterated with a short hyphen - .

Nominal compounds are not always analysed in the Rgveda-padapatha, i.e. in some circumstances they do not have their constituents separated by an avagraha; for example, in compounds that have two accents and the first component in an inflected form (e.g. RV 1.90.8: Sp vanaspatir, Pp vanaspatih); in compounds that are proper names (e.g. RV 3.53.9: Sp visvamitro, Pp visvamitrah); in dvandvas signifying deities (devatadvandvas); (e.g. RV 1.93.8: Sp agnisoma, Pp agnisoma); in dvandvas with both components accented and in the dual (e.g. RV 4.6.7: Sp matarapitara, Pp matarapitara); and in some other types of compounds (Jha, 1992, p. 169-176).

Most nominal compounds in the Rgveda consist of two components or, rarely, of three, but never more than three. Having a single accent seems to be the first criterion for a word to be considered a compound in the padapatha: if a compound has two accents, its components are not separated by avagraha. The second criterion for a word to be considered a compound is the use of the uninflected stem of the first component. However, a word is often analysed in the padapatha as a compound as long as it has, with some exceptions, one accent, although the first component may be in an inflected form. This is the case with amredita compounds which have their components separated in the padapatha since they fulfill the first criterion (i.e. they have a single accent) although the first component is always in an inflected form (e.g. RV 1.12.2: Sp agnimagnim, Pp agnim-agnim).

In Rgveda 1.1-1.50, twelve amredita compounds are attested which can be grouped in the following way:

• eight amreditas comprising two nouns (divedive, dyavidyavi, tunjetunje, sutesute, agnimagnim, vise vise, yogeyoge, vajevaje);

• one amredita comprising two numerals (ekamekam);

• one comprising two pronouns (tattad); and

• two comprising prepositions (pdrapara and prapra).

All amreditas listed above are analysed as compounds in the padapatha, i.e. their components are separated by avagraha (e.g. Pp dive-dive). These amreditas are all, with one exception (i.e. Sp agnimagnim, Pp agnim-agnim), comprised of non-theonyms. Similarly, in all other hymns of the Rgveda almost all amreditas are formed from non-theonyms: only two deities in the entire Rgveda are addressed in amredita compounds, i.e. Agni with three attestations of agnimagnim (1.12.2, 6.15.6, 8.60.17) and Indra with one attestation indramindram (8.12.19). All amredita compounds from Rgveda 1.1-1.50 as well as their attestation in other mandalas of the Rgveda have their components separated by avagraha. Furthermore, all amredita compounds in the Rgveda — altogether 113 are listed by Collitz (1882, pp. 295-297), having usually only one or a few attestations each in the entire text — were examined and found to be consistently analysed in the padapatha, irrespective as to whether they are comprised

5 In the Samaveda the components of devatadvandva compounds are separated.

of theonyms or non-theonyms. This fact also supports the assumption that having a single accent seems to be the first criterion for a word to be considered a compound in the padapätha.

In comparison, examination of dvandva compounds in the Rgvedapadapätha indicates different patterns. Dvandva compounds comprising non-theonyms are analysed as compounds in the padapätha only when the first component is, without any ambiguity, in a stem form (e.g. RV 1.45.2: Sp tmyastrimsatam, Pp tmyah-trimsatam) whereas those comprised of theonyms (which are by far the most frequent coordinative construction for theonyms in the Rgveda) are, as a rule, never analysed in the padapätha: no devatädvandvas, having constituents in juxtaposition or in tmesi, have their constituents separated by avagraha. Although two theonyms (Indra and Vayu, Indra and Agni) occur in dvandva compounds which have a single accent and the first constituent in a stem form—the two criteria that are required for the compound to be analysed in the padapätha—their components are still not separated by avagraha (e.g. Sp: 1.14.3ab indraväyü, Pp: indraväyü iti; Sp: 1.14.3ab indraväyü, Pp: indraväyü iti.) (Ditrich, 2009). This indicates that special criteria apply for dual theonyms: they are not analysed on the syntactic or semantic level but only on the phonetic or morphophonemic level (i.e. sandhi, replacement of singular endings by dual endings). Thus dvandva compounds cannot be viewed as a single category but a clear distinction has to be made between those comprised of theonyms and non-theonyms (Ditrich, 2007). On the other hand, ämredita groups comprising theonyms are always analysed as compounds in the padapätha; this may indicate that iterated theonyms, expressing repetition, developed later, in analogy with reiterated non-theonyms (Delbrück, 1893, p. 143). The analysis of all ämredita compounds in the padapätha indicates that having one accent is the most important criterion for a word to be considered a compound in the padapätha; this principle applies for ämreditas because they consist almost entirely of non-theonyms but not for dvandvas which comprise mostly theonyms and follow different principles.

2. Analysis of Ämredita Compounds in the Astädhyäyi

Although Panini's Astädhyäyi, the first and most important traditional Sanskrit grammar, probably from the sixth century BCE, describes the language of the late Vedic period, it also provides numerous rules for specific features of the old Vedic language and it seems that Panini was well acquainted with Vedic texts, including the Rgveda. It is also quite certain that the author of the Rgvedapadapätha antedated Panini (Ditrich, 2009); so it is curious that in the analysis of nominal compounds the concept of pada ("word") in the Rgvedapadapätha is different from the Paninian concept. In the Astädhyäyi nominal compounds (samäsa) are generally treated as single words, derived by combining syntactically and semantically connected case-inflected

words (padas) 6 which in the derivational process have had internal case endings deleted (P 2.4.71) — unless specified otherwise. Furthermore, there is a great difference in the analysis of amreditas in the two texts: Panini does not treat amredita word-groups as compounds. However, in the first pada of the eighth adhyaya he does provide rules for doubling whole syntactic items under various conditions. He defines the term amredita in P 8.1.2: tasya paramamreditam "of that which is repeated the letter [word] is called amredita" and in P 8.1.3 (anudattam ca) he says that the amredita word is not accented. In P 8.1.4 (nityavipsayoh) he assigns to amredita word-groups two meanings: nitya "always, again and again" and vipsa "distributiveness".7

Modern scholars have attempted to give various explanations as to why Panini does not include amredita groups among compounds. Joshi and Roodbergen (1974, xii-xiv) point out that amredita groups only rarely show the basic characteristic of compounds — the deletion of case endings and those amreditas that have case endings deleted are treated by Panini as bahuvrihi or karmadharaya compounds (P Furthermore, they argue that amredita groups consist not only of inflected words but also of finite verbs, and Panini does not allow compounds formed by finite verbs. The main reason for their exclusion from nominal composition by Panini is, they believe, that the meaning of amredita groups is not the result of composition but of repetition itself (Joshi & Roodbergen, 1974, pp. 8-9). Cardona thinks that the reason for the exclusion of amredita groups from nominal composition by Panini is to be found in the structural system of the Astadhyayi.8 It is quite certain that Panini knew Sakalya's Rgvedapadapatha, in which amredita groups are treated as compounds. The question as to why Panini did not adopt Sakalya's procedure has not been convincingly answered yet.

The Astadhyayi accounts for all of amredita groups that occur in Rgveda 1.1-1.50: sutras 8.1.1-8.1.15 describe (or prescribe) their derivation and accent. For Rgvedic amreditas, there is no difference in the treatment of reiterated theonyms and non-theonyms in the Astadhyayi: in both cases the required rules for their derivation and accent are accounted for. In comparison, in derivation of dvandvas there are quite a few features that Panini does not account for although most rules required are given in the Astadhyayi. For example, the rules for the order of constituents do not account for the variation in the order of constituents in two pairs of theonyms, such as in usasanakta / naktosasa and dyavaprthivi / prthividyava; the substitution prescribed for the final vowel of the first constituent (P 6.3.26) has at least one exception, i.e. indravayu (possibly also indragni) which is not notified by Panini. Although

6 A pada is defined in P 1.4.14: suptinantam padam "a pada is [that which] ends in sup [case-ending] or tin [verb-ending]"; in nominal composition only padaswith the case-endings are involved (P 4.1.1; 1.2.45; 1.2.46; 1.4.14).

7 Cardona (1996, 67) periphrases this rule: "a syntactic item is repeated on condition that repetition of an action or pervasion of a thing by a property or an action is to be conveyed; e.g. grhe grhe 'in each and every house', pibapiba 'drink again and again.'"

8 Cardona (1996, 67-72) shows that P 1.2.64 (sarupanamakasesa ekavibhaktau) does not allow derivation of compounds having identical nominal bases.

derivational rules for dvandva compounds comprising non-theonyms are provided, the derivation of mätaräpitarä, commonly used as an epithet for Heaven and Earth, is not accounted for in the Astadhyayi (Ditrich, 2009).

To summarise, Panini does not treat ämredita word-groups as compounds; however, he does provide rules for doubling whole syntactic items without any distinction between reiterated theonyms and non-theonyms. This fact further supports the hypothesis being developed in this article, that iterated theonyms, expressing repetition of an activity, evolved later on, in analogy with reiterated non-theonyms and consequently — unlike dvandva compounds — they do not display any specific features, neither in the Rgvedapadapatha nor in the Astädhyäyi.

3. Typology and Development of Ämredita Compounds

In ämredita compounds (or word-groups) an inflected form is repeated, thus giving the group an intensive, distributive or iterative meaning. The prior component of this construction retains its own independent accent while the other component is not accented (e.g. divé-dive 'every day'); however, when the constituents are in tmesi both retain their accents (e.g. RV 5.52.17 sapta me sapta).9 Several modern scholars classify them as a separate type, so-called iterative compounds; they define them as compounds that express iteration in time (e.g. divé-dive "every day"), distribution in space (visé-vise "in every house"), frequency and succession (e.g. agnim-agnim "Agni again and again"; yaßäsya-yafiasya "of every sacrifice") or intensity (e.g. dhiya-dhiyä "with increasingly repeated thought") (Delbrück, 1900, pp. 141-142; Renou, 1952, pp. 123-124). Others classify ämredita word groups as a subtype of dvandva compounds and discuss them in the sections dealing with copulative compounds. (Elizarenkova, 1987, p. 235; Whitney 1964, p. 488). Wackernagel (1957, p. 147) treats ämredita groups in his grammar under the compound section although he says that they are not proper compounds; he believes that they may develop into proper compounds in three ways: by deletion of the case ending of the first constituent, by deletion of the case endings of both constituents, or by transformation of the ämredita into an adjective. Renou (1961, p. 121) thinks that it is rather difficult to draw a line between mere word repetition and a compound; he uses for ämreditas a term "faux composés" and classifies them as iterative compounds under a section titled "Composés Anormaux". However, the treatment of ämredita word-groups as compounds is supported by the accentuation pattern as well as by the close relationship between ämreditas and dvandvas pointing to the same semantics of both types (e.g. ämredita group divé-dive "every day" and a dvandva compound nakta-divam "day and night").

By far the most common ämredita compounds in the Rgveda are formed from two substantives (e.g. divé-dive "day by day"). There are also several attestations of

9 P 8.1.3: anudättam ca [ämreditam 2].

amredita groups consisting of two pronouns (e.g. tvâm-tvam "you and (again) you" ), adjectives (e.g. pânyam-panyam ... somam "Soma who is again and again to be praised"), pronominal adjectives (e.g. anyâm-anyam "one after another") or adverbs (e.g. punar-punar "again and again"), only a few occurrences of iterated numerals (e.g. dva-dva "two and two"), prepositions (e.g. prâ-pra "further and further, ever more ') and one attestation of a repeated finite verb (piba-piba "drink again and again") (Collitz, 1882, pp. 287-298; Wackernagel, 1957, pp. 143-146). Amredita word-groups were originally in the singular but the plural meaning of the repetition led to the development of plural forms that occur already in the Rgveda (e.g. RV 5.52.17 ékam-eka sata daduh "they have given a hundred each"). The transition from iterative compounds to regular compounds started in the later Vedic language; e.g. from RV 8.68.14 dva-dva "two and two", to Maitrayani Samhita dvan-dvâm "in pairs" and finally to Taittirîya Samhita dvandvâ- "pair" (Macdonell, 1910, p. 155).

Amredita word groups identified in Rgveda 1.1-1.50 are as follows:


1. divédive: "day by day", has the largest number of attestations of all amreditas in the Rgveda (47 attestations). The compound comprises two substantives in D. Sg., used with L. Sg. meaning. The nominal stem may be diva n. or divm.; however, it seems that the frequency of the locative ending -e of -a stems led to the usage of -e also for the consonant stem div- (Wackernagel, 1957, p. 146).

2. dyâvidyavi: "day by day"; 2 attestations, two substantives in L. Sg.

3. tunjétunje: uncertain meaning; 1 attestation, two substantives in L. Sg.

4. sutésute: "in every libation"; 3 attestations, two substantives in L. Sg.

5. agnimagnim: "Agni again and again"; 3 attestations, two theonyms in A .Sg.

6. visévise: "in every house"; attestations, two substantives in D. Sg., used with L. Sg. meaning.

7. yogeyoge: "in every deed"; 1 attestation, two substantives in L. Sg.

8. vajevaje: "in every attempt for price"; 4 attestations, two substantives in L. Sg. Pronouns and Pronominal adjectives

1. ékamekam: "one by one"; 6 attestations, two numerals: in A. Sg. (1.20.7, 5.52.17, 8.70.14), in N. Sg. m. (3.29.15, 5.61.1), in N. Sg. f. (1.123.8).

2. tâttad: "any"; 4 attestations, two pronouns: in A. Sg. n. used as adjectives (1.46.12, 1.155.4, 8.39.4, 10.23.5).

Verbal prepositions

1. pârapara: "further and further away"; 1 attestation.

2. prâpra: "forward and forward"; 12 attestations.

The distribution of these compounds in the ten mandalas of the Rgveda may give some indication of the development of amreditas, presuming the generally accepted relative chronology of the Rgveda which situates the family books (mandalas 2-7) and mandala 10 at opposite ends of the chronological spectrum, and evaluates the duration of the composition of the entire Rgveda up to seven hundred years (Witzel, 1997, pp. 257-345). The distribution of the amredita compounds identified in Rgveda 1.1-1.50 in the ten mandalas is as follows:

Table 1: Distribution of amreditas in Rgveda 1.1-1.50

Table 1: Distribution of amreditas in Rgveda 1.1-1.50









































































visé vise




















































































Only divedive occurs frequently enough to indicate its distribution: this ämredita compound is found more often in the family books than in the younger layers of the Rgveda, having the smallest number of attestations in the latest mandala 10. It is evident from Table 1 that most frequently used iterative compounds are formed from two substantives (e.g. dive-dive "day by day"), usually occurring in the locative. This pattern of distribution does not support the hypothesis by Collitz (1882, pp. 287-298) that iteration of substantives is a later development but it seems that it may have developed at an early stage of the Indo-Aryan period. As noted before, theonyms rarely occur in ämredita compounds: apart from Agni who is attested in the sample investigated in this article, only one more deity is addressed in this construction, i.e. Indra. In the entire Rgveda they have only a few attestations: agnimagnim has three attestations (1.12.2, 6.15.6, 8.60.17) and indramindram only one (8.12.19), most of them occur in the middle chronological layer of the Rgveda and seem to express repetition of an activity; their pattern of distribution indicates that they may have developed in analogy with reiterated non-theonyms.

In comparison, the distribution of dvandva compounds in the ten mandalas of the Rgveda does not reflect the relative chronology of the Rgveda which is widely

accepted by modern scholarship (Ditrich, 2006). Dvandva compounds in the Rgveda comprise almost entirely theonyms which occur throughout the text without any marked differences among the ten mandalas. Names of deities that are addressed in pairs occur in a variety of coordinative nominal constructions (i.e. dvandva compounds, asyndeta, elliptic duals and syntagms constructed with coordinative particles) which follow specific paradigms. The specific distribution of theonyms reflects the Vedic ideas about the great significance and the magical power of divine names: they do not conform to the historical development of Rgvedic language, but follow special, well-established paradigms instead (Ditrich, 2007). On the other hand, the distribution of coordinative constructions comprising non-theonyms reflects the widely accepted relative chronology of the Rgveda; non-theonyms usually occur in a particular coordinative construction casually, with very few attestations, and seem to be more evenly distributed among the ten mandalas. Research of dvandva compounds provides evidence that in an investigation of coordinative nominal constructions a distinction has to be made between theonyms and non-theonyms (Ditrich, 2006; 2007).

Consequently, it is evident that in the Rgveda, dvandva compounds comprise almost exclusively theonyms and that the rather closely related ämredita compounds consist nearly entirely of non-theonyms. The historical development of the two types is rather elusive and may be interrelated; both types seem to have Indo-European origins followed by specific developments at the Indo-Aryan stage. The so-called iterative compounds are attested in several Indo-European languages but only in Sanskrit can they be formed from any part of speech. Those consisting of two substantives seem to be of Indo-Iranian origin: apart from Sanskrit they occur only in Avestan: e.g. nmäne-nmäne, visi-visi "in every house, in every clan". Repeated adjectives and adverbs are attested in Old Greek (e.g. nXsov nXsov ) and Latin (e.g. magis magis), however, these groups seem to express mainly coordination and are not really iterative compounds (Delbrück, 1900, pp. 144-145). Pronouns are iterated in several Indo-European languages, i.e. in Avestan (e.g. kanhe kanhe), Old Greek (e.g. rigrig), Latin (e.g. quisquis), Slavonic (e.g. Serb. kad-kad). Numerals are iterated in Vedic and Old Greek but attestations in other Indo-European languages seem uncertain. Iteration of prepositions is known also in Old Greek (e.g. nponpo) but iteration of finite verbs occurs only in Sanskrit. Delbrück (1900, pp. 149-153) argues that iteration of pronouns, prepositions and numerals in distributive sense may be of Indo-European origin whereas the iteration of nouns developed in the Indo-Aryan period. Collitz (1882, pp. 287-298) believes in the Indo-European origin of iterative compounds but only of those that iterate pronouns, adverbs and verbal prepositions. More recently, Dressler and Dunkel revisited the Indo-European history of iterative compounds. Dressler (1968, pp. 39-46) focuses on iterative compounds of Vedic type dive-dive: he shows that the most common case for iteration of two substantives is the locative which he believes to be the oldest, of Indo-European origin. On the other hand, Dunkel (1981, pp. 214-231) argues that iteration had started in Indo-European with preverbs, then spread to other adverbs and later to nouns in adverbial function; only in Vedic was the process generalized to nouns in grammatical function (subject, direct object,

possessive genitive). The origin and development of ämredita groups seems uncertain; the only iterative compound ever ascribed to proto Indo-European is preverbal * pro pro that can be reconstructed in Vedic Homeric and Latin and, as shown by Dunkel, also in Hittite which probably reflects the earliest stage of evolution of Indo-European iteration of preverbs (Dunkel, 1981, pp. 214-231).

In the Rgveda, as evidenced also on Table 1 above, most frequently used iterative compounds are formed from two substantives (e.g. dive-dive "day by day"), usually occurring in the locative which confirms Dressler's (1968, pp. 39-46) argument. The diachronic analysis of ämredita word-groups examined in this article indicates that they all originate in the Indo-Aryan period. Although iterated nouns seem to be of Indo-Iranian origin (with a few attestations in Avestan), there is only one Rgvedic ämredita compound that has a parallel compound attested in Avestan, i.e. RV vise-vise, Av. viisi-visi. Apart from Avestan, the Rgvedic ämreditas examined here have no attested parallels in any other Indo-European language. Similarly, the iterated pronouns (tattad, RV 1.46.12ab) and numerals (ekamekam, RV 1.20.7c) have no parallels in other Indo-European language groups. Of the two iterated verbal prepositions examined here, i.e. paräparä (RV 1.38.6ab) and prapra (RV 1.40.7cd), only prapra has several parallel forms attested in Vedic, Homeric Greek and Latin and, as shown by Dunkel (1981, pp. 214-231), also in Hittite.

To summarise: the most frequently used iterative compounds in the Rgveda are formed from two nouns and, as shown above, seem to be of Indo-Iranian origin but have developed and became very productive only in the Indo-Aryan period. Ämredita groups comprising other parts of speech are rare and, though some scholars believe them to be of Indo-European origin, they have, apart from prapra, no parallels in any other language group. Theonyms rarely occur in ämredita compounds: only two deities are addressed in this construction, Agni and Indra; these ämredita groups seem to express repetition of an activity and have developed later, well into the Indo-Aryan period, in analogy with reiterated non-theonyms.

There is certainly a strong link between dvandva compounds and ämredita word-groups. Salus (1963, pp. 551-554) developed a hypothesis that dvandvas originated from ämredita groups — from those which were distributive in nature and in which one of the two identical parts was replaced by a different word (e.g. devamdevam "the god and again the god" > *manusyadevam "man and god"). Although semantically there seems to be, in Salus's words, "not too great a leap" from one type to the other he does not provide sufficient evidence to support his hypothesis (Salus, 1963, p. 553). Most of the ämredita word groups examined in this article express repetition and distribution and indicate a semantic link with dvandva compounds. However, the examined material does not give any evidence for Salus's hypothesis that dvandvas originate from ämredita groups — namely from those which were distributive in nature and in which one of the two identical parts was replaced by a different word: among the material examined here no dvandva compound occurs that would have one component also attested in an ämredita word group. The only exceptions are the two

theonyms, Agni and Indra which occur both in amreditas (agnimagnim and indramindram) and in numerous dvandvas. However, as shown above, their rare occurrence, their distribution in the ten mandalas, and their analysis in the Rgvedapadapatha indicate that they cannot represent an ancient link between iterative and dvandva compounds but rather to the contrary: iterative compounds comprised of theonyms seem to have developed later on, originating from analogy with amredita word group comprised of non-theonyms as it has been argued in this article.

4. Conclusion

In this article all amredita compounds attested in the first fifty hymns of the Rgveda were identified and their analysis in the Rgvedapadapatha and the Astadhyayi, examined and compared with dvandva compounds attested in those hymns. In the Rgveda-padapatha, all amredita compounds are perceived as compounds i.e. the components are separated by avagraha, which suggests that in the padapatha a word is considered to be a compound as long as it has one accent although the first component may be in an inflected form. This principle applies for amreditas but not for dvandvas which comprise mostly theonyms and follow different principles. Theonyms very rarely occur in amredita compounds: only two deities are addressed in this construction, Agni and Indra, and these amredita groupsare always analysed in the padapatha.

Most rules required for derivation of dvandvas are given in the Astadhyayi although there are some features that Panini does not account for. Unlike dvandvas, Panini does not treat amredita word-groups as compounds; however, he does provide rules for doubling whole syntactic items under various conditions. There is no difference in the treatment of reiterated theonyms and non-theonyms in the Astadhyayi; the required rules for their derivation and accent are accounted for. This fact supports the hypothesis that iterated theonyms, expressing repetition of an activity, developed later and are consequently rare in the Rgveda and—unlike devatadvandvas—do not display any specific features in the Astadhyayi.

Among amredita word groups examined it is only divedive that occurs frequently enough to display its distribution: it occurs slightly more often in the family books than in the younger layers of the Rgveda, having the smallest number of attestations in the latest mandala 10. The most frequently used iterative compounds in the Rgveda are formed from two nouns, usually in the locative. Most of the amredita word groups examined express repetition and distribution and indicate a semantic link with dvandva compounds. The most frequently used iterative compounds in the Rgveda are formed from two nouns; they seem to be of Indo-Iranian origin but have developed and become very productive only in the Indo-Aryan period. Amredita groups comprising other parts of speech are rare and, though some scholars believe them to be of Indo-European origin, they have, apart from prapra, no parallels in any other language group.

It was been argued that all types of dvandva compounds and other coordinative constructions signifying dual theonyms display specific grammatical and stylistic features; the reason for this seems to lie in Vedic ideas about the magical power of divine names (Ditrich, 2009). In the light of this argument, it may be presumed that since amredita compounds comprised of theonyms are extremely rare in the Rgveda — unlike dvandvas and other coordinative constructions consisting of theonyms and do not display any distinct feature, i.e. neither in the Rgveda-padapatha nor in the Astadhyayi nor in their distribution in the ten mandalas, it seems that they developed later, well into the Indo-Aryan period, by analogy with reiterated non-theonyms. Due to their later development amreditas comprising theonyms are rare in the Rgveda. It can be concluded that neither dvandvas nor amreditas can be examined as single categories but a distinction has to be made between non-theonyms and theonyms.


A. accusative

D. dative

Du. dual

f. feminine

G. genitive

L. locative

m. masculine

n. neuter

N. nominative

P Panini's grammar, the Astadhyayi

Pp Padapatha

RV Rgveda

Sg. singular

Sp Samhitapatha

- avagraha


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Dunkel, G. E. (1981). "Ämredita and iteration of preverbs in Vedic and Hittite." Zeitschrift fur vergleichende Sprachforschung begründet von Adalbert Kuhn 95, 214-231.

Elizarenkova, T. IA. (1987). Vediiskii iazyk. Moskva: Nauka.

Gonda, J. (1975). Vedic Literature: Samhitäs and Brähmanas. A History of Indian Literature, vol. I, fasc. 1. Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz.

Jha, V. N. (1992). A Linguistic Analysis of the Rgveda padapätha. Sri Garib Dass Oriental Series No. 142, Pre-Paninian Grammatical Traditions (Part 1). Delhi: Sri Satguru Publications.

Joshi, S. D. & Roodbergen, J. A. F. (eds., trans.). (1974). Vyäkarana-Mahäbhäsya:

Bahuvrihidvandvähnika (P. 2.2.23-2.2.38), Publications of the Centre of Advanced Study in Sanskrit, Class C, No. 9 (Poona: University of Poona).

Joshi, S. D. & Roodbergen, J. A. F. (1993). The Astädhyäyi of Pänini: With Translation and Explanatory Notes, vol. 2 (1.2.1-1.2.73). New Delhi: Sahitya Akademi.

Macdonell, A. A. (1910). Vedic Grammar. Strassburg: Karl Trübner.

Oldenberg, H. (1888). Die Hymnen des Rigveda. Band I: Metrische und textgeschichtliche Prolegomena. Berlin: Wilhelm Hertz.

Renou, L. (1952). Grammaire de la langue védique. Collection "Les langues du monde", vol. 9. Paris: IAC.

Renou, L. (1961). Grammaire sanscrite. Paris: Adrien-Maisonneuve.

Salus, P. H. (1963). "On the Origin of the Dvandva." Orbis 12 (2), 551-554.

Wackernagel, J. (1957). Altindische Grammatik: Einleitung zur Wortlehre,

Nominalkomposition. Band II,1, 2nd ed. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.

Whitney, W. D. (1964). Sanskrit Grammar. 2nd ed. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Witzel, M. (1997). "The Development of the Vedic Canon and its Schools: The Social and Political Milieu." In Inside the Texts, Beyond the Texts, ed. by Michael Witzel Harvard Oriental Series, Opera Minora, vol. 2. Cambridge, MA: Department of Sanskrit and Indian Studies, Harvard University, 257-345.

Collocational Relations in Japanese Language Textbooks and Computer-Assisted Language Learning Resources


University of Ljubljana irenasrdanovic@gmail.com


In this paper, we explore the presence of collocational relations in computer-assisted language learning systems and other language resources for the Japanese language, on the one hand, and, in Japanese language learning textbooks and wordlists, on the other hand. After introducing how important it is to learn collocational relations in a foreign language, we examine their coverage in various learners' resources for the Japanese language. We particularly concentrate on a few collocations at the beginner's level, where we illustrate their treatment. Special attention is given to what are referred to as unpredictable collocations; collocations that pose greater burdens for foreign language learning than predictable ones.


collocations, CALL systems, computer-assisted language learning, Japanese language textbooks, unpredictable collocations


V tem članku raziskujemo prisotnost kolokacijskih odnosov v sistemih za računalniško podprto učenje in drugih jezikovnih virov za japonski jezik, na eni strani, in v materialih za učenje japonskega jezika za tujce, na drugi strani. Najprej predstavimo pomembnost učenja kolokacij v učenju tujega jezika, na kar preučimo njihov obseg v različnih virih za japonski jezik. Še posebej se osredotočimo na nekaj besednih zvez na začetniški ravni in pokažemo, kako so obravnavani v vsakem od virov. Posebna pozornost je namenjena nepredvidljivosti kolokacij, ki je povezana z večjim bremenom pri učenju tujih jezikov kot je to v primeru kolokacij, ki so učencem predvidljivi.

Ključne besede

kolokacije, računalniško podprto učenje jezika, jezikovne tehnologije, učbeniki za učenje japonskega jezika, nepredvidljive kolokacije

1. Introduction

The application of computer technologies and large-scale electronic collections of texts, corpora, to language research and language learning has brought various new

Acta Linguistica Asiatica, Vol. 1, No. 1, 2011. ISSN: 2232-3317 http://revije.ff.uni-lj.si/ala/index

insights into the phenomenon of language. Traditional approaches to linguistic research and language learning have tended to concentrate on single words, sentences and rules from the perspectives of phonetics, semantics and syntax, but have largely neglected patterns of word co-occurrences. One merit of the emerging corpus-based language research and computer-assisted language learning has been the strong emephasis on the importance of collocational relations.

Current textbooks for learners of the Japanese language reflect this traditional approach and are rather poor in terms of their coverage of collocational relations. On the other hand, recently emerged computer-assisted language learning systems and other corpus-based language resources for the Japanese language have in most cases recognized the need to provide information about Japanese language collocational relations.

In this paper, we look at the coverage of collocations in various Japanese language learning resources and emphasize the need for systematic treatments of collocations in language learning. We compare collocational relations within large-scale corpus-based language learning resources, such as computer-assisted language learning systems, including Reading Tutor, Natsume, the dictionary server WWWJDIC and the advanced corpus-query system Sketch Engine, with the collocational relations that appear in the Japanese language proficiency test content specifications for beginning and intermediate levels, as well in Japanese language textbooks for beginners.

2. Collocational relations and learning 2.1 The concept of collocation

Collocations, such as hon wo yomu "to read a book", nikoniko warau "to laugh joyfully", tsumetai omizu "cold water", chichi to haha "mother and father" can be defined as "the occurrence of two or more words within a short space of each other in a text" (Sinclair, 1991). There are various types of collocational relations in the Japanese language, such as collocations of words of the same or different part-of-speeches, collocations of words with or without particles, as well as more or less free or idiomatic collocations.

With the development of concordance tools for querying corpora and extracting collocations, various statistical methods have been developed in order to measure the statistical importance of two collocating words. From the statistical point of view, collocations are defined as words that "co-occur more often than chance". Mutual information (MI) is one of the earliest methods for extracting pairs of correlated words (collocations) that are within a fixed distance of five words (Church & Hanks, 1989). Similarly, "short space" in Sinclair's definition above refers to five words at most.

Although collocation extraction has been established within a distance of five words, some recent studies have shown that there are collocations that co-occur over

longer distances than five words (Srdanovic et al., 2008b). Accordingly, the notion of "distant collocation" also deserves special attention when dealing with collocations. In some cases, this notion stands for collocations interrupted by a string or two and is synonymous with some other terms such as "interrupted collocations", "discontinuous collocations". However, as in the example below, distant collocations can refer to collocations within a much wider distance than a string or two.

Kitto Tanaka-san no otosan wa ashita ka asatte sensei no kenkyushitsu ni kuru hazu


"For sure, Tanaka's father should come to our teacher's lab tomorrow or the day after


In this example, the modal adverb kitto "certainly" collocates with clause-final modality form hazu da "should be", which has been shown to be a typical (distant) collocational relation for Japanese modal adverbs.

2.2 Learning of collocations and its importance

Some of the earliest studies to recognize the importance of some types of collations can be found in the field of English education within Japan (Saito, 1905; Palmer, 1938; Hornby, 1954). The founder of the "London School of Linguistics", J. R. Firth, has been known widely for his famous quotation: "You shall know a word by the company it keeps" (Firth, 1951). This statement emphasizes the importance of the context-dependant nature of meaning and exemplifies the approach that was later developed by Halliday's functional linguistics theory and Sinclair's corpus-based collocation studies.

Sinclair (1991) introduces the term "principle of idiom" in language use to stress the importance of conventional words co-occurrences: "A language user has available to him or her a large number of semi-preconstructed phrases that constitute single choices, even though they might appear to be analyzable into segments."

Nation (2001) describes the so-called "unpredictable collocations"; collocations that are difficult for language learners to predict based on knowledge of their native or other foreign languages. For example, the Japanese collocation ocha wo ireru "to make a tea [lit. to put in tea]" is unpredictable, at least, for native speakers of English (but also for native speakers of the vast majority of other foreign languages), because its constituents are different from those in the Japanese language. Because of the learners' prior knowledge concerning the constituents of "to make" and "tea", a learner is prone to make a mistake and create the unnatural collocation in the Japanese language - ocha wo tsukuru "[lit. to make tea]" using the verb tsukuru "to make" instead of ireru "to put in". Foreign language learners typically make such mistakes and it is difficult for them to reach the level of native speakers in terms of using collocations. According to Nation (2001), the learning burdens associated with collocations are connected to their

predictability - the less predictable collocations are, the greater is the learning burden for a foreign language learner.

There are numerous studies that emphasize the importance of collocation learning. Kjellmer (1991) states that it is important to study words co-occurrences in order to be able to speak almost as naturally as a native speaker. It is necessary to shift the emphasis from individual words to their co-occurrences, and to stop teaching vocabulary items alone. In addition, James's research on the "naturalness" of collocation points out the importance of learning word co-occurrences (James, 1998). That study compared the uses of collocations by native and non-native speakers of a language and confirmed that non-native speakers often produce unnatural collocations. Various combinations of collocations are frequently either overused or underused by language learners compared to how native speakers use the same collocations.

3. Collocations in CALL systems for Japanese language

Computer-assisted language learning systems (CALL systems) are typically created with the objective of facilitating one of the four basic language learning skills: reading, writing, listening and speaking. The CALL systems targeted in this paper are for reading (Reading Tutor and WWWJDIC) and writing (Natsume). In addition, we consider the Sketch Engine, a corpus-query system with various advanced functionalities for collocation extraction. The system is primarily used in the field of lexicography, but has been also successfully applied to language learning and linguistic research for a number of languages. As a CALL system, it has similar functionalities to Natsume, and can be used mostly for developing learners' writing skills. We examine each of these systems in terms of their coverages of collocations by checking for five randomly-selected collocations: ocha wo ireru "to make a tea", tsumetai mizu "cold water", atsui oyu "hot water", oyu wo wakasu "to boil water", and te ni ireru "to obtain". Two of these collocations are probably considered unpredictable by the majority of Japanese language learners: ocha wo ireru "to make tea" and te ni ireru "to obtain".

3.1 Reading Tutor

Reading Tutor (http://language.tiu.acjp/) is a CALL system to support learners' reading skills in the Japanese language, created by Kitahara et al. at the Tokyo International University (from 1997). The main functionality of the tool is the ability to copy and paste any Japanese text into it, after which the tool provides a user-friendly interface with the original text on the left side and the lexical items with their descriptions, readings, translations on the right side. When clicking a word in the text, the word appears on the right side with all its lexical information. There are also other functionalities, such as measuring the level of text difficulty and a collection of reading

materials, quizzes etc. In addition to the Japanese-English language pairing, there are also some other language pairings, including Japanese-Slovene (Hmeljak-Sangawa & Erjavec 2010, http://nl.iis.si/jaslo/chuta/).

In the background, the tool morphologically analyzes texts into segments using the ChaSen morphological analyzer, and it uses the EDR Japanese-Japanese and Japanese-English dictionary. These resources do not handle collocational relations, which can be also noticed in the output results of the Reading Tutor. As displayed in Figure 1, none of the target collocations are recognized as collocations. Because the tool supports learners in the reading task and is, therefore, more oriented towards language understanding rather than language production, for some collocations, it is sufficient to understand the meaning of the components in order to grasp the meaning of the whole collocation. Such collocations are, for example, tsumetai mizu "cold water" or oyu wo wakasu "to boil water", and we can suppose that the tool is helpful enough for understanding such collocations. However, the meaning of some collocations cannot be easily grasped from the meanings of their constituents, and indeed some cases could be misunderstood due to slightly different usages in the other language(s) that the learner is familiar with. Examples of such collocations could be te ni ireru "to obtain' and ocha wo ireru 'to make tea'. The Reading Tutor provides numerous senses for the components of te 'hand' (30 senses) and ireru 'to put in' (19 senses), but none of the senses match to the meaning of the collocate in question. Also, the word ocha "tea" is not recognized and covered by the Reading Tutor, although its variant cha is, which highlights the fact that there is still room for improvement in the lexical resources used by the tool.

fteadmg Tutor Homepage


Radius Tutor

B3'S5 J Erelbri / Deutdn


1 to put a parson or a thins into a vacant area

cnclose / let h / send someone to hospital / put wotwwjc nto hospital

2 to put a person or a thine into a vacant area ^ to tnkc an active interest in xnmRthirtc

take sn active interest In / be devoted to / apply orwseifto f be ccroentrated on ( devote enessffxo

4 I included.) to incHude or contain something include / ccciit «marrc

fj [dilute] to pour pour

Q [admit) to adrnfct a person through (something) tost

haue (a student) advance J haue (a student) profcresa 7 [lieLire in] la Idke somethiriE into BECttiht take $Qmetf>ins'r\to account / rc&jdo / fi?we in

5 to introduce machinery and tools

be hfc (a ran system) into / Introduce (a new system)

9 to give irifUrmatron

let awncoc know / report to someone f brrts news to / tcJI someone about {a matter] / ¡nfo*m otcot

10 to switch something on turn on / switch m

1 1 [inputJ To supply energy from outside sources In electricity


12 to- eet one's hnnd into siomcthinc

correct / make a change / manipulate / retcueh / do tp t rework ) repair J iress with / lix up / mend 1 touch us>

12 [nr.nept] to accept ?in pffer Irnm sometin«

adopt (the opriion of another) / accept (the opinion of another) / take (the ophicn of arether.) / recewt

' '_' ' '...... I " rpir'ni cf ainthwj ' listen UN*-^-mm ^t snqth^rj_

Figure 1 Collocations in Reading Tutor


WWWJDIC is a dictionary server developed by Jim Breen and others at the Electronic Dictionary Research and Development Group at Monash University (from 1991, http://www.aa.tufs.ac.jp/~jwb/cgi-bin/wwwjdic.cgi?1C). Similar to the Reading Tutor, WWWJDIC offers a tool that supports learners in reading Japanese language texts. The difference is in the display - WWWJDIC divides texts into sentences and then provides lexical entries for each word in the sentence with readings, translations, part of speech information and various links to the pronunciation of the word, to the kanji dictionary, or to some other dictionaries and resources. In addition to this functionality, which is oriented towards reading in the Japanese language, the server also provides word lookup in various bilingual dictionary combinations with the Japanese language, specialized dictionaries, example search, kanji lookup, and the ability to add new dictionary entries etc. Some of these functionalities can also be supportive for writing in the Japanese language, that is, for language production. The main dictionary within the server is EDICT, which has been constantly improved over the last twenty years. From Figure 2 we can see that this language resource is richer in information for the target collocations than Reading Tutor. The collocations oyu wo wakasu and te ni ireru are recognized as such and their particular meanings are provided: "to boil water, to get a bath ready" and "to obtain, to procure". The collocation ocha wo ireru is not recognized as such, but under the senses of the verb ireru (nine senses), the seventh sense covers the meaning of this collocation "to make (tea, coffee, etc.)".

. i&Zfrfrf SShiJ'T. [¡iSbgl.T] CemiSs) to toil vfstet; to aet tha bath ready; ED


* ^ (n)(l) (See i)^*l}tea; (2) tea plant (Camellia sinensis); (3) (See ^jl) tee preparation: making tea; (4) Cebbr)(See brown; (n,sdrne) (5) (arch) (See SftT) mockari; CP); ED

* Passible inflected verb or adjective.

(plain werb)

Aft^ Aft£(P); Htfl^; Ufa-5 (vl ,vt) (l) to put in; to let in; to take in; to bring in; to insert; to set (a jew«!, etc); (2) to admit; to accept; to employ; to

hire; (3) («so. to accent, to comply to srartt; to adopt (a oolicy, etc.); to take (advice, etc.); to list&n to; to pav attention to; (4) to inctude; (5) to pay (one's rent,

etc J; (6) to cast (a vote), (7) (Sea J$tT.£0 to make (tea, coffee, etc); (8) to turn on (a switch, etc J; (9) to send (a fex); to calf, (P); ED

. »1 > E&Ol i] (sdj-i) (ant Mil 0 hot (thing), (P); ED

* % (r»J (t) hot water; (2) hot lath, hot spring; (P); ; (n) sou(t (chi. tang); ED

* Possible inflected verb or adjective

(□lain verb)

[T(i I,' V'.-b J (exp.vl ,vt) to obtain; to procure. CP). ED . «felt DlMSk.^-^l'l (adH)(1)(iimJfil.'')co!d (to the touch); chill», fraezinE. KldShesmd; unftelirc (P); ED

. 7>' [Tl, .J (n) CO (abbr) (See tKDIB) Wednesday; (2) (See shaved tie (served with flatted syrup); (3) (See Sfr-1 1) waier (fifth of the -five elements). in) «■Ster(ioldlfts3b);(p);ED

Figure 2 Collocations in the WWWJDIC dictionary server

3.3 Natsume

Natsume Writing Support System is a CALL system oriented towards supporting learners in writing in the Japanese language. It is being developed by Nishina and others at the Tokyo Institute of Technology (http://wombat.ryu.titech.ac.jp/). It provides the ability to search for various collocational relations and its greatest advantage is that it offers a detailed analysis of frequency and the statistical significance of collocations across various types of corpora. This information is crucial in language production since it supports learners in deciding which collocations are more appropriate in which types of texts. The current version of the system covers only noun - verb collocations, with various particles in between, but the implementation of other types of collocations is currently in progress. Figure 3 shows how the te ni ireru "to obtain" collocation can be found in the results. The lower part of the figure shows in which types of corpora this collocation is more or less frequent: in the majority of the corpora, such as Wikipedia, books, newspapers, magazines, Yahoo Chiebukuro, this type of phrase is frequent; however it is quite rare in two corpora, namely, the corpus of natural science papers and the corpus of white papers. Other target collocations of the noun - particle - verb type are found in the system (ocha wo ireru, oyu wo wakasu), but collocations of the adjective - noun type (atsui oyu, tsumetai omizu) are not yet covered in the system. The current system also provides the ability to look up various examples, but it does not provide translations of the words or the collocations, which can pose some difficulties for language learners. Accordingly, it can be very helpful for learners, to combine Natsume with some other systems, such as Rikaichan (https://addons.mozilla.org/ja/firefox/addon/rikaichan/), which provides online dictionary lookup in the form of pop-ups on a particular web-page.


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r^ * An-sjro^vjusutuf

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sms l.owywo&gas ¡tWiÄ, 13 HSE-sr^KöWL )'Jvyju.

Figure 3 Collocations in Natsume

3.4 Sketch Engine

The Sketch Engine tool is a corpus-query system that was initially developed for the English language (Kilgarriff et al., 2004, http://www.sketchengine.co.uk/) and then extended to various languages. The tool offers a thorough summary of a word's grammatical and collocational relations, the so-called word sketches. It is also possible to view sketch differences between two similar words with a detailed review of their collocational and grammatical differences and similarities. The tool has proven to be extremely useful in the fields of lexicography, e.g. Oxford University Press, Macmillan (Kilgarriff & Rundell, 2002), language teaching, e.g. Smith et al. 2007, and linguistic research. The Japanese version of the tool (Srdanovic et al., 2008a) is capable of extracting approximately 50 types of collocational and grammatical relations within the Japanese language.

Figure 4 shows what types of collocational relations exist for the Japanese language nouns in the Sketch Engine (sixteen different types of collocational relations). In addition to nouns, various collocational relations are covered for the other parts of speech of verbs, adjectives and adverbs.

Figure 4 Types of collocational relations for nouns in the Sketch Engine

/5Ä o

JpWaC freq = 28 It

modifier Ai 186 8.1

10 0.60

78 S.12

5 7.36

15 6.76

8 5.27


WUI nil


13 1.02 4 0.46

modifier Ai 186 8.1

10 0.60

78 S.12

5 7.36

15 6.76

8 5.27

13 1.02 4 0.46

























rn 11;«

































1 lt. 1



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Figure 5 Collocations in Sketch Engine

Similar to Natsume, this system can be supportive of writing in the Japanese language. The target collocational relations are fully covered in the system, as shown in Figure 5. The system shares the same disadvantage as Natsume that a dictionary is not provided within the system, but, as already noted for Natsume, it is possible to use it in combination with other resources, such as Rikaichan, and thus, to some extent, overcome this deficit.

4. Collocations in Japanese language textbooks and word-lists 4.1 JLPT word-lists

The Japanese language proficiency test word-list is the most widely used vocabulary list for Japanese as a foreign language. It is also used as a standard in the creation of Japanese language textbooks. The list divides Japanese vocabulary into 1 to 4 levels, where 1 is the most difficult and 4 is the least difficult level. The newest version of the word-list uses 5 levels, but it is not publicly available yet and is, therefore, not used in the analysis in this paper.

Table 1 shows the number and percentage of words and collocations in the JLPT word-lists for the basic level (4th level) and the lower intermediate level (3rd level). There is some tendency to provide collocational usage for some words, but we can assume that this is not with a direct intention to cover collocations. Collocations are rather used in order to differentiate between various senses of a word and express which sense is to be introduced at a particular level. In the current word-lists, this information is very rare - 3.57% of the collocations in the basic level word-list and 4.12% of the collocations in the lower-intermediate level word-list. Table 2 shows what types of collocations appear in the JLPT basic level word-list. The first column in

the table presents the part of speech of the word in question in the word-list. The second column is the type of collocation for that particular part of speech, such as NnoN for collocations of nouns that co-occur with the particle no. The third column shows some examples for the specific type of collocation, such as watashi no uchi "my home" for the NnoN type. One can notice from the table that the NwoV collocation type, such as shigoto woyaru "to do work" is the most frequent in this level word-list.

None of the target collocations are present in the word-list, although the components (te "hand", ocha "tea", ireru "to put in", oyu "(hot) water", atsui "hot", tsumetai "cold") of these collocations belong to the basic level of the JLPT word-list. Only the component of wakasu "to boil" belongs to the lower intermediate level, but its collocation oyu wo wakasu "to boil water" is not present in the word-lists. It can be concluded that there is an unintentional tendency to provide some collocation usages in the word-lists and that the current coverage of collocational information is very rare in this resource. There is a strong need to create a resource with a systematic treatment of the most frequent collocations of the words at this particular level.

Table 1 Words vs. collocations in the JLPT word-lists

Table 1 Words vs. collocations in the JLPT word-lists


Basic level (4th)

Lower intermediate level (3rd)

No. of words

728 (+21 expressions)

1409 (+32 expressions)

No. of collocations

26 (3,57%)

58 (4.12%)

Table 2 Types of collocations in the JLPT wordlist

Table 2 Types of collocations in the JLPT wordlist

Type of collocation


NnoN (3)

watashi no uchi

NdeNwoV (1)

hashi de gohan wo taberu

coord (4)



Adv+Adj (2)

taihen atsui

Adv+V (4)

yoku dekimasu


NgaAdj (1)

nedan ga takai

coord (1)



NgaV (1)

eigo ga dekiru

NwoV (8)

shigoto wo yaru

NniV (1)

haru ni naru

4.2 Types of collocations in the basic level JLPT word-list

In this section, we examine whether and how the target collocations are present in the Japanese language textbook Minna no nihongo (1998) for the beginning level, which is at level 4 of the JPLT word-list (Table 3). All the components (words) of the collocations that belong to level 4 are introduced in the textbook. However, none of the target collocations appear in the textbook. The collocations that do appear in the textbook are incorporated within dialog utterances or text sentences and are not explicitly recognized and treated as collocations. These collocations include the same type and different types of collocations, and, in some cases, they are similar to the target collocations. For example, tsumetai mizu "cold water" does not appear, but similar collocations of the same Adj + Noun type, e.g. tsumetaigyunyu "cold milk", is in the textbook. For the word mizu "water", there is a collocation of another type; Noun wo Verb, mizu wo nomu "to drink water". Also, te ni ireru "to obtain" is not present, but a collocation with a different particle occurs; te de kaku "to write by hand". Similarly, ocha wo ireru "to make a tea" is not in the textbook, but ko-hi- wo ireru "to make coffee" is. Among the target collocations, te ni ireru "to obtain" and ocha wo ireru "to make a tea" are unpredictable for most learners (for example, learners who are native English speakers). As explained above, te ni ireru "to obtain" is not covered in the textbook, and ocha wo ireru "to make a tea" is not directly covered but the burden is on the teacher to draw a parallel with the collocation ko-hi- wo ireru "to make coffee". Among the above-mentioned collocations that appear in the textbook, two are unpredictable for learners with an English language background, ko-hi- wo ireru "to make a coffee" and ocha wo narau "to learn the tea ceremony" and they deserve special attention when introduced. To sum up, there are useful collocations that appear in textbooks as parts of longer utterances, but there is a need for a more detailed treatment of the collocations of various types at a particular level, with especial emphasis on the unpredictability of collocations for particular learners. Their importance should be recognized by producers of language learning materials and pointed out in the textbooks.

Table 3 Collocations in the textbook

Table 3 Collocations in the textbook


Target collocation

Textbook collocation

Textbook lesson (pp)



atsui oyu

tai wa atsui, igirisu wa atsui

8 (70, 71)



atsui oyu





oyu wo wakasu





tsumetai mizu

tsumetai gyünyü

8 (68)



tsumetai mizu

mizu wo nomu

6 (49



ocha wo ireru

ocha wo nomu, ocha wo narau

6 (48), 19 (154, 157)



Target collocation

Textbook collocation

Textbook lesson (pp)



ocha wo ireru, te ni ireru

ka-do wo ireru, sore wo koko ni ireru, ko-hi- wo ireru

16 (131), 24 (200)



te ni ireru

te de kaku

7 (59)


5. Conclusion

In this paper, we present how collocations and collocational relations are treated in various language resources for the Japanese language. These included computerassisted language learning systems and other language technology tools, such as Natsume and Sketch Engine, which pay special attention to collocational relations and are very rich in the degree of collocational information provided. However, they do not yet provide collocational definitions. There are also some CALL system tools that are very useful to learners, but which are currently limited in their treatment of collocations, such as Reading Tutor. The WWWJDIC server falls in between these two tendencies and is constantly improving its lexical content with a care to collocations too. The examination of collocations in language learning materials, such as textbooks and word-lists, indicates that there is a lack of systematic treatment of collocations. There is a strong need to improve textbooks and other language learning materials and to approach collocational relations explicitly by taking into account their degree of unpredictability for language learners. As future work, we plan to further analyze specific types of collocational relations in Japanese language textbooks and propose collocation lists for specific proficiency levels based on the information available from large-scale resources of various data types.


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