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This Proto-Japonic entry contains reconstructed terms and roots. As such, the term(s) in this entry are not directly attested, but are hypothesized to have existed based on comparative evidence.



According to one theory, possibly from an otherwise-unattested emphatic particle *ka, with the nasal from compounding with the genitive forms of pronouns such as *wana ka (my) > *wanka, which was resegmented as *wa-nka. (Can this(+) etymology be sourced?)

However, there is a lack of evidence for such an emphatic particle. The closest match in various modern references[1][2][3] is an emphasizing prefix (ka-) that attaches to certain adverbs from the 800s, and to certain adjectives from the early 1000s.



  1. adnominative marker: the preceding nominal acts to quality the following nominal in some fashion

Usage notes[edit]

When following pronouns or other nominatives indicating persons, this may have served in a genitive or possessive capacity, in use alongside *nə. In Old Japanese, (ga) was used after nominatives indicating persons to mark other nominatives that were relatively close to the indicated person, while (no) was used for nominatives that were more psychologically or emotionally distant.[1]

In Ryukyuan, *-nka came to be used for humans in general.[4]


  • Old Japanese: (ga)
    • Japanese: (ga, nominative marker), Japanese: が / ヶ (ga, obsolete possessive marker)
  • Proto-Ryukyuan: *ga
    • Northern Ryukyuan:
      • Kikai: (ga)
      • Kunigami: (ga)
      • Northern Amami-Oshima: (ga)
      • Okinawan: (ga)
      • Oki-No-Erabu: (ga)
      • Southern Amami-Oshima: (ga)
      • Toku-No-Shima: (ga)
      • Yoron: (ga)
    • Southern Ryukyuan

See also[edit]


  1. 1.0 1.1 ”, in 日本国語大辞典 (Nihon Kokugo Daijiten, Nihon Kokugo Daijiten)[1] (in Japanese), concise edition, Tōkyō: Shogakukan, 2000
  2. ^ ”, in デジタル大辞泉[2] (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Shogakukan, updated roughly every four months
  3. ^ Matsumura, Akira, editor (2006), 大辞林 (in Japanese), Third edition, Tōkyō: Sanseidō, →ISBN
  4. ^ Pellard, Thomas (2018) Ryukyuan and the reconstruction of proto-Japanese-Ryukyuan, De Gruyter Mouton.