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Topics in Nivkh Phonology
Author: Hidetoshi Shiraishi
Publisher: Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
Publication date: 2006
Number of pages: 172
Format / Quality: PDF - Excellent
Size: 0.72 Mb
This thesis has two aims. One is to show how the latest findings of current phonological theories facilitate the statement of generalizations underlying the phonological structure of Nivkh, a relatively unknown language of Northeast Asia.

The other aim is to describe the phonology of a hitherto undocumented dialect of Nivkh (West-Sakhalin dialect, henceforth WSN).

Nivkh (also called Gilyak) is a language isolate (or microfamily) spoken on the island of Sakhalin and on the lower reaches of the Amur River in the Russian Far East. From the middle of the 19th century on, Nivkh was classified as a Paleosiberian (or Paleoasiatic) language together with languages such as Ket, Yukaghir, Itelmen, Chukchi and Koryak. However, these languages are not genetically related to each other (except for Chukchi, Koryak and Itelmen, which form the Chukchi-Kamchatkan language family).

Neither is Nivkh related to geographically neighboring
languages such as Ainu or any of the Tungusic languages (Uilta, Nanai etc.). The resemblances with Japanese (word order, heavy inflection of verbs) are all of a typological nature (Austerlitz 1974).

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