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Linguistic analysis of Ryûka – a traditional short poem in the Ryukyu Islands

Conference contribution
Authors Yasuko Nagano-Madsen
Published in Abstracts of the Fifth International Conference on Languagee, Literature, and Society, 19- 21 July 2018, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
ISBN 978-955-4543-41-6
Publisher International Center for Research & Developmemt
Place of publication Colombo, Sri Lanka
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Languages and Literatures
Language en
Keywords Ryûka, waka, Ryûkyu Islands, Japan, linguistic analysis
Subject categories Linguistics


Ryûka (song/poem of Ryûkyu Islands) is a traditional short poem developed in the Ryûkyu archipelago of Japan. It is written in Ryûkyuan, which is an endangered sister-language to Japanese. Ryûka corresponds to waka (song/poem of Japan), which has developed in the mainland Japan. Main grammatical difference is discussed by citing the grammatical concord called 'kakari musubi'. The grammatical concord in waka arranged in such a way to make all the five phrases to form a unified unit while that in Ryûka doesn't. It is conjectured that the difference arose because of Ryûka's musical nature.

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