Bjarke Frellesvig describes the development of the Japanese language from its recorded beginnings until the present day as reflected by the written sources and historical record. Beginning with a description of the oldest attested stage of the language, Old Japanese (approximately the eighth century AD), and then tracing the changes which occurred through the Early Middle Japanese (800-1200), Late Middle Japanese (1200-1600) and the Modern Japanese (1600-onwards) periods, a complete internal history of the language is examined and discussed. This account provides a comprehensive study of how the Japanese language has developed and adapted, providing a much needed resource for scholars. A History of the Japanese Language is invaluable to all those interested in the Japanese language and also students of language change generally.
- Separates each period into different parts, providing a clear chronological basis for analysis - Traces the changes that have occurred in the language from Old Japanese to Modern Japanese - Analyses phonological changes as well as those within grammar and vocabulary
Introduction; Abbreviations; Part I. Old Japanese: 1. Early writing in Japan and Old Japanese sources; 2. Phonology; 3. Grammar; 4. Loan words; 5. Eastern Old Japanese; Part II. Early Middle Japanese: 6. Writing and sources; 7. Phonology; 8. Grammar; 9. The sinification of Japanese; Part III. Late Middle Japanese: 10. Sources; 11. Phonology; 12. Grammar; Part IV. Modern Japanese: 13. Varieties of Modern Japanese; 14. Phonology; 15. Grammar; 16. Eastern dialect features of the standard language; 17. The westernization of Japanese: loan words and other borrowings; Appendix; References.