Glossary

GENERAL TERMS


The accusative case marks the object of a verb.

  • John donated the book.


Acrophony [Gr. ἄκρος (akros) “end, point; uppermost” + φωνή (phōnē) “sound”] characterizes the evolution from the use of a picture to represent a word to the use of that picture to represent the initial one or two sounds of that word

Note: This principle appears to work best in a moraic writing system, such as Japanese, that includes a lot of single moraic or bimoraic words. The following explanation is adapted for English.

  1. Draw a picture of a needle piercing material, and call it “sew”.
  2. Draw a picture that represents the idea of “low”, and call it “low”.
  3. Use the picture of “sew” in a word that includes the sound “sew” (now “so”).
  4. Use the picture of “low” in a word that includes the sound “low” (now “lo”).
  5. Use the pictures to write “solo”.


A contextual complement is a term coined by Gretchen Leonhardt [01.23.13] and refers to a word that has similar or related meaning to one or more words in untranslated context, thus strengthening the likelihood of a correct translation.

  • kasiate = kashi “apparent death” + ate “blow, strike”

Note: For a discussion about this example, see Linear A Decipherments: Monumental Inscriptions


A diphthong [Gk. διφθογγος (diphthongos) “double tongue; double tone”] (gliding vowel) comprises two adjacent vowel sounds within a syllable.  Compare mora.

  • coin
  • wait


An eponym is a name that is derived from an idea, a person, or a thing. Consequently, an eponym can be derived from a toponym.

  • Kos lettuce is derived from the Greek island of Kos, where it originated.


A geminate [L. geminus “twin”] is a doubled sound, such as two consonants.

  • arrange
  • flipper


A glide is a vocalic sound–such as /j/, /w/, or /y/–that may be characterized as either a semi vowel or a semi consonant because it acts as a syllable or a mora boundary rather as a syllable or mora nucleus.


Kanji [hanzi < “Han Chinese”] are characters that have been adopted by the Japanese language from the Chinese logographic system

Note: A popular belief suggests that the Japanese had no writing system before the introduction of Chinese, but the demonstration of LinA to Japanese negates this belief.


A kanji radical (bushu) is a common sub-element that expresses the nature of the kanji. The placement of a radical within a character is an important determinant.


A kun’yomi (kun reading) [kuni “country”], in Japanese-kanji definitions, is a Japanese country reading, which traditionally comes after the on reading and which is distinguished by small letters. Compare on’yomi.


Metathesis refers to the transposition of sounds or syllables within a word.

  • aks for ask
  • alunimum for aluminum
  • nucular or nuclear
  • Relator for Realtor

See, also, moraic metathesis.


Minoguchi (or Minuguchi) is a term coined by Gretchen E. Leonhardt (09.21.11) to identify the common proto language of the Yamato and the Uchina’a.


A mora (pl. morae) is a phonological division that comprises either a vowel (V), a consonant (C), or a consonant and a vowel (CV) but never a vowel and a consonant (VC).

  • Eido (えいど) = e/i/do
  • Nippon (にっぽん) = ni/p/po/n

Note: Mora is derived from Greek μόρα (mora) “division”. The Japanese equivalent is haku 拍 “rhythmic unit”. Compare haiku 俳句, a 17-morae poem that comprises three lines: five, seven, and five morae, respectively. For a comprehensive definition, see Mora (linguistics), and compare ancient Greek and Japanese. Compare, also, diphthong.


Moraic metathesis refers to the transposition of morae within a word without a change of meaning.

  • kashi “blemish, defect, flaw”
  • shika “blemish, defect, flaw”

Note: See metathesis. See also HT Wc 1014-18, 1027-28 for an example of this principle, which was originally termed bi-moraic metathesis (01.19.13).  While it is too early to tell whether the principle is limited to two morae,  bi-moraic metathesis will be retained for applicable pairs.


The nominative case marks the subject of a verb.

  • John donated the book.


An on’yomi (on reading), in Japanese-kanji definitions, is a sound reading, which traditionally comes before the kun reading and which is distinguished by capital letters. Sound readings use signs for their phonetic values rather than for their literal meanings. While on readings typically refer to Chinese pronunciations, they seem to have evolved to include Japanese pronunciations, as well. Compare kun’yomi.

The optative mood uses verbs such as can, may, and would to express desire.

  • You may be lord in your own house. [Hom. Od. 1.402]
  • Would that you get a job!


Romaji comprises the substitution of Roman letters for the sounds of Japanese characters.

  • ishi for 石 “stone”


A syllabary is a set of symbols, each of which represents a syllable. If, by definition, a syllabary assigns one symbol per syllable, then the Japanese system cannot be called a syllabary. On the contrary, Japanese often includes numerous readings for each symbol and numerous symbols for each reading. Likewise, the symbol sets for LinA and LinB include multiple symbols with the same readings and many more symbols whose readings have not been determined. Repetition is inevitable in the latter case. Compare mora.


A theonym is a name that refers to a deity (from Greek θεός (theos) “God, the deity”).


A toponym is a name that refers to a place (from Greek τόπος (topos) “place, region”).


Uchina’ais the name for one group of people that formerly belonged to the Ryukyuan Kingdom (now Okinawa). Consequently, the Uchina’a speak Uchinaguchi (Uchina’a + guchi “mouth”). Compare Yamato. See also Minoguchi.


Vocalic is an adjective that relates to vowels.


The vocative case belongs to a word or a phrase–such as an epithet, a name, or a term of endearment–that is used to address the listener.

  • Heavenly Father, please help me!”
  • “I’m proud of you, son.”
  • Mary, come here!”
  • “Don’t be late, honey.”


Yamato is the name for the mainland Japanese, to distinguish them from other cultures–such as the Ainu–within Japan. Consequently, the Yamato speak Yamatoguchi (Yamato + guchi “mouth”). Compare Uchina’a. See also Minoguchi.


JAPANESE TERMS:

Kanji are characters that have been adopted by the Japanese language from the Chinese logographic system (from hanzi < “Han Chinese”).

Note: A popular belief suggests that the Japanese had no writing system before the introduction of Chinese, but the demonstration of LinA to Japanese negates this belief.

A kanji radical (bushu) is a common sub-element that expresses the nature of the kanji. The placement of a radical within a character is an important determinant.

A kun’yomi (kun reading), in Japanese-kanji definitions, is a Japanese country reading (from kuni “country”), which traditionally comes after the Chinese reading and which is distinguished by small letters. Compare on’yomi.

A mora (pl. morae) is a phonological division that comprises either a vowel (V), a consonant (C), or a consonant and a vowel (CV) but never a vowel and a consonant (VC).

  • Eido (えいど) = e/i/do
  • Nippon (にっぽん) = ni/p/po/n

Note: Mora is derived from Greek μόρα (mora) “division”. The Japanese equivalent is haku 拍 “rhythmic unit”. Compare haiku 俳句, a 17-morae poem that comprises three lines: five, seven, and five morae, respectively. For a comprehensive definition, see Mora (linguistics), and compare ancient Greek and Japanese. Compare, also, diphthong.

An on’yomi (on reading), in Japanese-kanji definitions, is a Chinese sound reading, which traditionally comes before the Japanese reading and which is distinguished by capital letters. Compare kun’yomi.

Romaji comprises the substitution of Roman letters for the sounds of Japanese characters.

  • ishi for 石 “stone”

Uchina’a is the name for one group of people that formerly belonged to the Ryukyuan Kingdom (now Okinawa). Consequently, the Uchina’a speak Uchinaguchi (Uchina’a + guchi “mouth”). Compare Yamato. See also Minoguchi.

Yamato is the name for the mainland Japanese, to distinguish them from other cultures–such as the Ainu–within Japan. Consequently, the Yamato speak Yamatoguchi (Yamato + guchi “mouth”). Compare Uchina’a. See also Minoguchi.


LINGUISTIC CASES and MOODS

The accusative case marks the object of a verb.

  • John donated the book.

The nominative case marks the subject of a verb.

  • John donated the book.

The optative mood uses verbs such as can, may, and would to express desire.

  • You may be lord in your own house. [Hom. Od. 1.402]
  • Would that you get a job!

The vocative case belongs to a word or a phrase–such as an epithet, a name, or a term of endearment–that is used to address the listener.

  • Heavenly Father, please help me!”
  • “I’m proud of you, son.”
  • Mary, come here!”
  • “Don’t be late, honey.”

NAMES:

Not only are there names for all things, there are also names for the classes of names.

An eponym is a name that is derived from an idea, a person, or a thing. Consequently, an eponym can be derived from a toponym.

  • Kos lettuce is derived from the Greek island of Kos, where it originated.

A theonym is a name that refers to a deity (from Greek θεός (theos) “God, the deity”).

A toponym is a name that refers to a place (from Greek τόπος (topos) “place, region”).

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