30 December 2016

A Little Comparative Linguistics

All words and word elements between // are rendered in IPA, or at least as close to it as my keyboard sets will allow.  * denotes a word I cannot easily pronounce.

English gloss Japanese Korean Hungarian Finnish
"water"[0] /mizu/ * /vi:z/ /ves/
"language, speech" /go/[1] /jo/[1] /njelv/ /'kieli/
"sun, day" /ni:/[2] /i:/ /na:p/ /'paiva/
"God, heaven" /tengoku/[3] /tʃəngʊk/[3] /'iʃten/ /'taivaʃ/
"tree" /ki/ /namu/ /fa/ /pu:/

[0] Compare with Ojibwe /mɪʃigama:/ "large water, large lake."
[1] Both may be derived from Chinese /ju/ , "language."
[2] Not the usual word for "sun" or "day" but the first part of /niho:n/, what Japanese speakers call Japan.
[3] Both are probably derived from Chinese /tjen gwo/, "heavenly realm."

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