Similarities between japanese and amerindian languages

Covered
Posts: 142
Joined: 2009-03-08, 21:47
Gender: male
Location: Porto Alegre
Country: BR Brazil (Brasil)

Similarities between japanese and amerindian languages

Postby Covered » 2010-05-25, 1:35

I've found that there are many studies about amerindian languages and oriental languages like japanese, chinese etc. and I found here a few words that are almost the same in tupi and japanese and have the same meaning

TUPI:JAPanese
acapê kabe
amã, mana âme
anhá an-ya
arassy arashi
caxi kashi
curi kuri
mi-mi mi
tataca tataku
sumarê sumire

User avatar
linguoboy
Posts: 24407
Joined: 2009-08-25, 15:11
Real Name: Da
Location: Chicago
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Similarities between japanese and amerindian languages

Postby linguoboy » 2010-05-25, 18:56

You can make a list like that for absolute any two languages you like. I've seen similar ones for every pairing from Latvian and Zuni to Quechua and Semitic.
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

User avatar
cumberbatch
Posts: 33
Joined: 2013-04-10, 11:07
Gender: female
Location: Quezon City
Country: PH Philippines (Pilipinas)

Re: Similarities between japanese and amerindian languages

Postby cumberbatch » 2013-06-22, 14:55

This is interesting, Covered-san! I wonder how the words came about? I mean, it's surprising how these words have similar pronunciation AND meanings. I am not even sure that Japanese and Amerindian belong to the same language family.

User avatar
Pangu
Posts: 429
Joined: 2010-05-05, 11:23
Gender: male
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Similarities between japanese and amerindian languages

Postby Pangu » 2013-06-22, 15:21

Covered wrote:I've found that there are many studies about amerindian languages and oriental languages like japanese, chinese etc. and I found here a few words that are almost the same in tupi and japanese and have the same meaning

TUPI:JAPanese
acapê kabe
amã, mana âme
anhá an-ya
arassy arashi
caxi kashi
curi kuri
mi-mi mi
tataca tataku
sumarê sumire

What do those words mean?

User avatar
johnklepac
Posts: 2809
Joined: 2012-12-06, 2:18
Real Name: Your Onions
Gender: male
Location: Chicago/Southwest Ohio
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Similarities between japanese and amerindian languages

Postby johnklepac » 2013-06-22, 17:14

Pangu wrote:
Covered wrote:TUPI:JAPanese
acapê kabe
amã, mana âme
anhá an-ya
arassy arashi
caxi kashi
curi kuri
mi-mi mi
tataca tataku
sumarê sumire

What do those words mean?

kabe - wall
ame - rain; candy
an-ya - darkness? I'm guessing from the kanji that come up when I type it.
arashi - storm
kashi - candy
kuri - chestnut
mi - body; sight; there are many kanji with this reading.
tataku - to attack; to kick
sumire - never heard of it; I'm guessing it's an animal or plant considering that katakana come up first when I type it.

User avatar
mōdgethanc
Posts: 10669
Joined: 2010-03-20, 5:27
Gender: male
Location: Toronto
Country: CA Canada (Canada)

Re: Similarities between japanese and amerindian languages

Postby mōdgethanc » 2013-06-22, 17:18

linguoboy wrote:You can make a list like that for absolute any two languages you like. I've seen similar ones for every pairing from Latvian and Zuni to Quechua and Semitic.
And even if you can accept the arbitrary phonetic matches, there's still the vague-ass semantics to deal with. Whatever these words mean, I highly doubt they mean the same thing aside from the most tenuous connections (things like "god" and "lightning", or "rain" and "earth"). A fun word-association game, but nothing else.

User avatar
Lazar Taxon
Posts: 1570
Joined: 2007-10-07, 8:00
Gender: male
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Similarities between japanese and amerindian languages

Postby Lazar Taxon » 2013-06-22, 22:51

Indeed, if two languages have a millennia-old genetic relationship, then their cognate words are likely to have undergone greatly divergent phonetic evolution. The words that seem near-identical are more likely the result of happenstance or, where applicable, recent borrowing.
Native: [flag=]en-us[/flag] Good: [flag=]es[/flag] [flag=]fr[/flag] Okay: [flag=]de[/flag] [flag=]la[/flag] Beginning: [flag=]it[/flag] Interested in: [flag=]he[/flag] [flag=]hi[/flag] [flag=]ru[/flag]

Today we are cats in the apocalypse!

User avatar
johnklepac
Posts: 2809
Joined: 2012-12-06, 2:18
Real Name: Your Onions
Gender: male
Location: Chicago/Southwest Ohio
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Similarities between japanese and amerindian languages

Postby johnklepac » 2013-06-30, 1:19

Lazar Taxon wrote:Indeed, if two languages have a millennia-old genetic relationship, then their cognate words are likely to have undergone greatly divergent phonetic evolution. The words that seem near-identical are more likely the result of happenstance or, where applicable, recent borrowing.

Agreed. It's possible that Japanese and the Amerindian languages evolved from a common ancestor, but given that even the Indo-European languages, for example, are far from mutually intelligible almost to the point of being indistinguishable as a family among languages as a whole to all but linguists themselves, I'm not sure that would matter.

User avatar
cumberbatch
Posts: 33
Joined: 2013-04-10, 11:07
Gender: female
Location: Quezon City
Country: PH Philippines (Pilipinas)

Re: Similarities between japanese and amerindian languages

Postby cumberbatch » 2013-07-21, 12:07

johnklepac wrote:sumire - never heard of it; I'm guessing it's an animal or plant considering that katakana come up first when I type it.
Sumire refers to the violet plant :) 菫 

Unmundisto

Re: Similarities between japanese and amerindian languages

Postby Unmundisto » 2013-09-28, 22:55

There's been said to be evidence that various Native American people's came from different parts of Asia, not just from Siberia.

Conceivably, then, there could be a connection between those two langauges, since so little is known about the exact origins of the many Native American peoples.

Maybe it's true that common words can diverge greatly, but does that prove that they always must?
That they _must_ always diverge--is that an article of faith?

Those similiarities are impressive. Of course, when such distant relation is proposed, it's always just suggestive and speculative.

Look at the very impressive similarities that Proto-World advocates have pointed out, among he words in various different superfamilies of languages. Again, the main argument against the Proto-World theory is that words are sure to always diverge to unrecognizability. But, as i asked before, if they can, does that mean that they always must? Maybe. I'm just asking.

But the mere fact that it's a matter of asking, rather than telling, means that we don't have conclusive conclusions.

Unmundisto

User avatar
linguoboy
Posts: 24407
Joined: 2009-08-25, 15:11
Real Name: Da
Location: Chicago
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Similarities between japanese and amerindian languages

Postby linguoboy » 2013-09-28, 23:13

Unmundisto wrote:Those similiarities are impressive.

No they aren't.

Unmundisto wrote:Look at the very impressive similarities that Proto-World advocates have pointed out, among he words in various different superfamilies of languages. Again, the main argument against the Proto-World theory is that words are sure to always diverge to unrecognizability.

No, the main argument against Proto-World is that, with enough latitude in your comparison criteria, you can come up with "impressive" lists for any given pair of languages, regardless of their relatedness. See the link I posted above for more details (and a mathematical proof).
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

Unmundisto

Re: Similarities between japanese and amerindian languages

Postby Unmundisto » 2013-09-29, 13:30

linguoboy wrote:
Unmundisto wrote:Those similiarities are impressive.

No they aren't.


Well, the OP said that two lists of words for the same things sound nearly the same. Not quite sure what you mean by "impressive" :-)

"Impressive" isn't a precisely-defined word, and certainly the matter of what is impressive comes down to a subjective judgment.

Unmundisto wrote:Look at the very impressive similarities that Proto-World advocates have pointed out, among the words in various different superfamilies of languages. Again, the main argument against the Proto-World theory is that words are sure to always diverge to unrecognizability.

No, the main argument against Proto-World is that, with enough latitude in your comparison criteria, you can come up with "impressive" lists for any given pair of languages, regardless of their relatedness. See the link I posted above for more details (and a mathematical proof).


Someone in this thread argued that maybe the words in the OP's lists don't really sound so similar, and that maybe they don't have meanings so similar. Those are the comparison criteria you're referring to.

What you're saying is that more study would be needed, in order to verify the simiilarities in sound and meaning.

Likely statistics could say something useful about the significance of the similarities. For that I'll check the link that you posted.

Sure (regarding the Proto-World hypothesis), among all the words in those superfamilies, maybe there are some that, just by chance, show a close match in meaning and sound, among superfamilies. So, the argument goes, if you "cherry-pick", among those vast vocabularies, you can find convincing-looking matches, even if they're just by chance. That's where statistics could be helpful.

But the OP wasn't talking about Proto-World, but only about Native-American/Asian similiarities.

A website said that the Afro-Asian languages have their common origin at least 10,000 years ago, and that some authorites place it much longer ago than that. But presumably there are still some recognizably similar words among the members of that family.

When did the most recently-arrived ancestors of Naive-Americans leave Asia? I don't know, but say it's something on the order of 20,000 years ago.

If so, then the survival of some recognizable Asian/Native-American word-similarities doesn' sound as out of the question as one of the posters implied.

As for the Proto-World hypothesis, it involves a much greater duration, and, there, statistics would be helpful. I don't want to make a claim about the Proto-World hypothesis.

Anyway, whether or not the Proto-World resemblences are just coincidental, they still suggest a good source of vocabulary for an international auxilliary language.

Unmundisto

User avatar
Lur
Posts: 3052
Joined: 2012-04-15, 23:22
Location: Madrid
Country: ES Spain (España)

Re: Similarities between japanese and amerindian languages

Postby Lur » 2013-09-29, 13:38

Isn't there a hyphotesis relating Yeniseian and Na-Dené? That's the only possible America-Asia connection I know of.

Of course in the end all American languages come from the outside anyways.
Geurea dena lapurtzen uzteagatik, geure izaerari uko egiteagatik.

User avatar
linguoboy
Posts: 24407
Joined: 2009-08-25, 15:11
Real Name: Da
Location: Chicago
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Similarities between japanese and amerindian languages

Postby linguoboy » 2013-09-30, 0:27

Unmundisto wrote:Sure (regarding the Proto-World hypothesis), among all the words in those superfamilies, maybe there are some that, just by chance, show a close match in meaning and sound, among superfamilies. So, the argument goes, if you "cherry-pick", among those vast vocabularies, you can find convincing-looking matches, even if they're just by chance. That's where statistics could be helpful. But the OP wasn't talking about Proto-World, but only about Native-American/Asian similiarities.

And? The methodological flaws are the same in either case. The OP posted NINE WORDS. How many words of Tupi do you think there are? How many words of Japanese?

Moreover, we only have the OP's word on the semantic matches. (Unless, of course, you've actually gone through a Tupi dictionary, checked the definitions of those words, and verified that they have the same meaning as the Japanese items they're paired with. If you have, it would be a service to the community if you would post them.)

"Impressive" is a subjective term. And subjectively, I think anyone who would even consider applying it to short, dubious list like this is very easily impressed. You want to see an "impressive" list of similarities? Try comparing Tupi to Guarani, or Japanese to Okinawan.
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

Unmundisto

Re: Similarities between japanese and amerindian languages

Postby Unmundisto » 2013-09-30, 3:34

linguoboy wrote:
Unmundisto wrote:Sure (regarding the Proto-World hypothesis), among all the words in those superfamilies, maybe there are some that, just by chance, show a close match in meaning and sound, among superfamilies. So, the argument goes, if you "cherry-pick", among those vast vocabularies, you can find convincing-looking matches, even if they're just by chance. That's where statistics could be helpful. But the OP wasn't talking about Proto-World, but only about Native-American/Asian similiarities.

And? The methodological flaws are the same in either case. The OP posted NINE WORDS. How many words of Tupi do you think there are? How many words of Japanese?


The difference is that the separation-duration is a lot shorter for Native-American languages and their Asian origins, as compared to the Proto-World hypothesis.

As for the number of words, the OP was comparing two languages, not language superfamilies, and so there are fewer words. I'm not saying that the cherry-picking objection couldn't apply though.

And, if the number of words in those two langauges are so great that nine _close_ matches aren't significant, then of course all that can be said is that those similarities might (but might not) be survivals from the languages' common origin.

It doesn't really matter, because there is other evidence that at least most Native American peoples originated in Asia.

But, speaking of other evidence, it seems to me that it was regarding Native-American/Asian similarities, that I read of an instance in which close word similaritie coincided with DNA similarity that was very unlikely to occur by coincidence. If so, then _that_ might be an example of actual common-origin shared words. But I don't have any specifics of the article.

Anyway, I'm not claiming that the Japanese/Tupi word-similarities prove that the words in question are common-ancestor survivals. But I'm saying that it isn't a terribly important issue either.

Your link demonstrated an approach to evaluating the signifiance of word-similarities, but it was very general and simplified. But, even though it doesn't apply specifically, of course the "cherry-picking" objection _might_ have validity in this instance. We haven't done the calculation, but that's ok, since the Asian origin of most or all Native Americans is well-established.

(I say "most", because of an article that (to explain a DNA similarity, and old records of European appearance among newly-contacted Native American populations in the Northeast) proposed that a few prehistoric Europeans might have crossed an "ice-bridge" between Europe and North America, The author was only suggesting that maybe a very few early arrivals to North America were from Europe. I'm not claiming that there's anything to it.)

No, I haven't checked the OP's information. As I said, one of your objections is that such checking would need to be done, to verify the information, and I don't deny that.

But in the initial posting, the word-similarities are remarkable.

"Impressive" is a subjective term. And subjectively, I think anyone who would even consider applying it to short, dubious list like this is very easily impressed.


One thing I like about Unilang is its absence of flamewarrior behavior; well almost. Try to limit yourself to the topic, as opposed to exprssion of your opinions of those with whom you disagree.

As I said, the words in those listed pairs tend to be very remarkably similar, regardless of whether they prove anything. You're confusing "impressive" with "conclusive".

Unmundisto

User avatar
linguoboy
Posts: 24407
Joined: 2009-08-25, 15:11
Real Name: Da
Location: Chicago
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Similarities between japanese and amerindian languages

Postby linguoboy » 2013-09-30, 15:14

Unmundisto wrote:As for the number of words, the OP was comparing two languages, not language superfamilies, and so there are fewer words.

And? In general, if you're comparing families (or phyla, which is what I assume "superfamilies" means) you're using reconstructed forms, and there are far fewer of these than there is total vocabulary in any of the living languages of those families. If you're not, then it's just another version of the same broken mass-comparison methodology.

Unmundisto wrote:And, if the number of words in those two langauges are so great that nine _close_ matches aren't significant

If?

I ask again: How many words of Tupi do you think we know? How many words of Japanese?

Unmundisto wrote:It doesn't really matter, because there is other evidence that at least most Native American peoples originated in Asia.

It doesn't matter for the purposes of showing that Native Americans originated in Asia. But that's a scientific fact firmly established through archaeology and genetic studies; it doesn't need any shoring up from linguistics.

If the purpose is to show that Tupian languages could be related to Japanese, then these sorts of details are exactly what matters.

Unmundisto wrote:Anyway, I'm not claiming that the Japanese/Tupi word-similarities prove that the words in question are common-ancestor survivals. But I'm saying that it isn't a terribly important issue either.

If by "issue" you mean the hypothesis of a common origin for Tupian and Japonic, then I agree with you. But I'm addressing the larger issue, which is one of properly evaluating arguments according to the evidence presented for them--not only in historical linguistics but also in the scientific endeavour in general. And that absolutely does matter. Because otherwise it leads to conclusions like this:
Unmundisto wrote:No, I haven't checked the OP's information. As I said, one of your objections is that such checking would need to be done, to verify the information, and I don't deny that. But in the initial posting, the word-similarities are remarkable.

That conclusion is simply not justified by the evidence presented. You do not know enough Tupi to judge whether the words listed are (a) actually attested; (b) accurately cited; or (c) mean something even close to what the Japanese words next to them mean. [For that matter, I'm also willing to bet you don't know enough Japanese to evaluate whether the definitions which John and Cumberbatch have given are accurate either. You're looking at this list through doubly blind eyes and seeing only what you want to see.]

Unmundisto wrote:
"Impressive" is a subjective term. And subjectively, I think anyone who would even consider applying it to short, dubious list like this is very easily impressed.

One thing I like about Unilang is its absence of flamewarrior behavior; well almost. Try to limit yourself to the topic, as opposed to exprssion of your opinions of those with whom you disagree.

One thing I like about Unilang is that posters are generally well informed about languages and linguistics. We can't have everything we want from this thread, can we?

Unmundisto wrote:As I said, the words in those listed pairs tend to be very remarkably similar, regardless of whether they prove anything. You're confusing "impressive" with "conclusive".

No. You're using words like "remarkable" and "impressive" without a firm grasp of what they might actually mean in this context. As Rosenfelder says, given ANY two well-documented languages, you could produce a length of similar length and degree of similarity. It's just a matter of how much time you feel like spending with a couple of bilingual dictionaries. Try it yourself and see.
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

User avatar
linguoboy
Posts: 24407
Joined: 2009-08-25, 15:11
Real Name: Da
Location: Chicago
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Similarities between japanese and amerindian languages

Postby linguoboy » 2013-09-30, 17:23

To demonstrate what I mean, here's a list for Korean and English that I came up with in about five minutes:

Korean - English

du - two
bori - barley
ddong - dung
ga - go
ye - yes
mwŏt - what
manhi - many
ŏmma - momma
purŏ - blue
an - in
gol - gully
wae - why

Are you impressed yet, Unmudisto? If not, I can take another five minutes and add some more.
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

Unmundisto

Re: Similarities between japanese and amerindian languages

Postby Unmundisto » 2013-10-01, 3:10

linguoboy wrote:To demonstrate what I mean, here's a list for Korean and English that I came up with in about five minutes:

Korean - English

du - two
bori - barley
ddong - dung
ga - go
ye - yes
mwŏt - what
manhi - many
ŏmma - momma
purŏ - blue
an - in
gol - gully
wae - why

Are you impressed yet, Unmudisto? If not, I can take another five minutes and add some more.


Quite. You found those yourself in 5 minutes?

Well, I don't think puru sounds a whole lot like blue, and an/in only has one letter in common, but most of the others are really great.

I wonder how many words Korean has borrowed from English, though, yes, I realize that most of your words aren't the sort that are usually borrowed.

If your list is a list of coincidences, then you've scertainly demonstrated what coincidence can do.

I make no claim to be a linguist, but I've heard that the Krean has sometimes been called Altaic, and that the Altaic and IE families have been claimed to be related. So your conicidence-list would be more _impressive_ if it didn't list similiarities between languages in families already seriously claimed, by reputable authorities, to be related and to have improbably much in common.

Unmundisto

User avatar
linguoboy
Posts: 24407
Joined: 2009-08-25, 15:11
Real Name: Da
Location: Chicago
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Similarities between japanese and amerindian languages

Postby linguoboy » 2013-10-01, 14:34

Unmundisto wrote:Quite. You found those yourself in 5 minutes?

More or less. I've studied Korean before, so half of them I knew already. The other half I came up with from perusing a Swadesh list.

Unmundisto wrote:I wonder how many words Korean has borrowed from English, though, yes, I realize that most of your words aren't the sort that are usually borrowed.

It's borrowed quite a few, but these are generally pretty obvious:

bŏsŭ - bus
kŏp - cup
kopi - coffee
apatŭ - apart(ment) [via Japanese]

I considered slipping a couple of these into my list just to keep you on your toes, but in the end I kept it to native vocabulary (except for gully, which is a mediaeval Romance loan).

Unmundisto wrote:I make no claim to be a linguist, but I've heard that the Krean has sometimes been called Altaic, and that the Altaic and IE families have been claimed to be related.

At some point, everything has been claimed to be related to everything else (and the more of an isolate a language is, the more attempts have been made to connect it to something else--just look at Basque and Japanese). So this really means nothing.

Unmundisto wrote:So your conicidence-list would be more _impressive_ if it didn't list similiarities between languages in families already seriously claimed, by reputable authorities, to be related and to have improbably much in common.

Can you name any of these "reputable authorities"? (I'm also curious to hear how you go about evaluating their reputations given that you're no linguist.)

But, as I keep saying, suck it yourself and see. Here are some Swadesh lists to get you started. Pick any two and see how many "impressive coincidences" you can find between them. (ProTip: You'll have more luck if you stick to shorter words and languages with a mostly CV syllable structure [like Tupi and Japanese].)
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

Unmundisto

Re: Similarities between japanese and amerindian languages

Postby Unmundisto » 2013-10-01, 16:30

linguoboy wrote:I considered slipping a couple of these into my list just to keep you on your toes, but in the end I kept it to native vocabulary (except for gully, which is a mediaeval Romance loan).


...and therefore had no justification to be in such a comparison list.

Unmundisto wrote:I make no claim to be a linguist, but I've heard that the Krean has sometimes been called Altaic, and that the Altaic and IE families have been claimed to be related.

At some point, everything has been claimed to be related to everything else (and the more of an isolate a language is, the more attempts have been made to connect it to something else--just look at Basque and Japanese). So this really means nothing.


Incorrect. Though there's disagreement about the Altaic/IE relation, and the Altaic membership of Korean, and though it's widely said that those things aren't conclusivey shown, linguist authors are less dismissive of some relations than of others. The Alataic membeship of Korean, and the Altaic/IE relation are suggestions that, while not always agreed-upon, recieve a more sympathetic evaluation and comments in articles by linguists than do many other such proposals.

Unmundisto wrote:So your conicidence-list would be more _impressive_ if it didn't list similiarities between languages in families already seriously claimed, by reputable authorities, to be related and to have improbably much in common.


Can you name any of these "reputable authorities"?


I must have neglected to write down their names, when I read their articles, or articles referring to them--not realizing that I'd later be asked for their names :-)

But just do a little reading.

(I'm also curious to hear how you go about evaluating their reputations given that you're no linguist.)


I was referring to linguist-authors' statements regarding the amount and reputible-ness of the support for the various theories. I didn't say that I personally evaluated anyone's reputable-ness.

Now--Are we done with this topic yet?

I've already said that I don't consider those word-pair-relations to be important to anything else. I've said that I make no claims regarding it. So, then, what are you continuing to debate?

Unmundisto


Return to “Japanese (日本語)”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest