Call for papers

Dear colleagues,

CAES editorial team calls for yours papers for CAES Vol. 3, № 3, that is going to be published in the middle of October 2017. Deadline for submission is September 30.

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CAES Vol. 3, № 2

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Articles:

A phylogenetic interpretation of the canonical formula of myths by Levi-Strauss

Marc Thuillard, Jean-Loïc Le Quellec

Abstract:

Lévi-Strauss’ canonical formula and Mosko’s narrative formula have a simple interpretation within the theoretical framework of phylogenetics. The canonical formula represents a complex but by far not unique way of combining 2 and 3-states characters in a phylogenetic tree description of myths. The canonical formula describes an instance of myth’s evolution that can be described exactly by a perfect phylogenetic tree. Mosko’s formula describes a completely different scheme of evolution. Mosko’s formula is typically the result of a fast evolution of mythemes resulting possibly in all combinations of binary characters. The evolution of myths corresponds quite often to intermediary situations. This observation may explain why the canonical formula has been identified only in a limited number of instances.

Keywords:  Lévi-Strauss; canonical formula; narrative formula; myths; phylogeny

Thuillard_Le_Quellec_canonical_formula

Think pieces

A Minoan deity from London Medicine Papyrus

Alexander Akulov

Abstract:

In London Medicine Papyrus, in incantation against samuna ubuqi illness there are two names of Minoan deities. One of them is determined as Maja that evidently is correlated with Maia of ancient Greek mythology. Maia of ancient Greek mythology is the oldest of seven Pleiades. Pleiades were connected with seafaring since the season of navigation in Mediterranean region began with their heliacal rising. Minoan Maia could be protector of sailors; use of name Maja in an incantation against a disease is completely logical since seafaring was very important of Minoan people, and so a deity that was protector of sailors evidently was considered as a mighty one and could also be an effective protector against other troubles. The fact that name Maja is written with determinative “god”, but not “goddess” in the incantation while in Greek mythology Maia is goddess, hints that initially Maja could be androgynous/bigender deity.

Keywords: London Medicine Papyrus; Minoan deity; Minoan language; Minoan; Kaftiw

Akulov_Minoan_deity

Actual problems of Ainu language revitalization

Alexander Akulov, Tresi Nonno

Abstrac:

It was supposed that social networks and virtual worlds could be good platforms for Ainu language revitalization. Also it was supposed that the conception of native tongue should be thrown as well as conception of ‘native’ gender. Anybody who can produce spontaneous utterances in a language should be considered as its speaker. However, it has appeared that it’s not easy to create a platform for revitalization. Second Life has appeared to be nothing else, but just a huge mall where any activity except stereotyped isn’t welcomed. Facebook has appeared to be a ‘ghetto’ of so called UN ‘hippies’ who mostly want to see indigenous cultures as enigmatic exotics only. Funds also provide little support for real activists of revitalization.

Keywords: Ainu language; language revitalization; virtualization

Akulov_Nonno_Ainu_revitalization_problems

Some critical thoughts on the concept of tradition

Yelena Kolesnikova

Abstract:

Anthropologists as well as plain people often use the concepts of tradition/traditional values/traditional culture. They both suppose that tradition is something contraposed modernity/contemporeanity. Really any culture is base on certain traditions. Traditions are actually regularly performed practices so any culture is base on certain traditions since any culture always supposes certain set of regularly performed practices. Also we should keep in mind that tradition also supposes invention of new issues. Also we should keep in mind that the activity of anthropologists, i.e.: the fact that they pay much attention to traditional societies and contrapose so called traditional societies to modernity provide help to the forces of obscurantism.

Keywords: tradition; anthropology; history

Kolesnikova_the_concept_of_tradition

Yayoi culture as a fake (preliminary notes)

Tresi Nonno

Abstract:

Among historians are spread the following stereotypes: roots of Japanese culture were formed in the period of Yayoi, and Jōmon culture didn’t influence on forming Japanese culture. However, Yayoi pottery and architecture are just continuations of Late Jōmon pottery and architecture. Perception of continental issues (for instance: dōtaku) in the period of Yayoi was very irregular, and introduced items became object of cargo cults. In the period of Kofun on the contrary we can see regular spreading of ‘Korean’ techniques. Regular spreading of certain techniques should necessarily correlate with regular presence of corresponding ethnic group. Thus, it is possible to say that there was no serious presence of ‘Korean’ ethnic element upon Japanese archipelago until the beginning of Kofun period. Yayoi period actually should not be considered as a separated culture, but just as a continuation of Late Jōmon.

Keywords: Yayoi; Late Jōmon; Japanese history; interpretation of archaeological data

Nonno_Yayoi_fake

CAES Vol. 3, № 1

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Editor’s foreword

Articles:

The verb of Kuril-Kamchatka Ainu: a general overview 

Alexander Akulov

Abstract:

Original data on Kuril-Kamchatka idiom are rather meager, but as far as the dialect is rather close to the dialect of Kushiro/Shiranuka so it was possible to use the data of the last in the reconstruction of Kuril-Kamchatka grammar. When there were no direct data on Kuril-Kamchatka Ainu and when Kushiro dialect offered unique forms which weren’t represented in other dialect, then more universal forms were chosen. The reconstructed idiom has certain unique features: two desiderative forms instead of one; unique negative particle eyn instead of habitual Ainu somo. From the other hand tenses and modalities are closer to those of Southern Hokkaido dialects.

Key words: Ainu language; Kuril-Kamchatka Ainu; Ainu verb

Akulov_Kamchatka_Ainu_verb

The distribution of phoneme inventory and language evolution  

Simon Brown

Abstract:

The number of phonemes varies widely among languages, ranging from about 10 to more than 140.  The overall distribution of phonemes is positively skewed and can be reasonably approximated by the lognormal distribution.  This distribution is generally associated with multiplicative processes from which model-dependent estimates of the rates of growth of language families and the phoneme inventory of individual languages can be obtained.  Using the inventories in UPSID, one simple model is used to show that vowel and consonant inventories differ in their rates of growth.  While other appropriate models should be considered, this general approach provides a means of learning more about phoneme change.

Key words: distribution; growth; language evolution; phoneme inventory

Brown_phoneme

Think pieces:

Some notes on the grammatical structure of a verb from a Minoan incantation from London Medicine Papyrus 

Alexander Akulov

Abstract:

Word sabujajəjədja from a Minoan incantation from London Medicine Papyrus is a verb of movement. Its ending: -ja (actually -sha) correlates with -se of Phaistos disc. This -se correlates with Hattic –, which correlates with Kabardinian –ś. Kabardinian –ś expresses affirmative mood, so Hattic –, -se of Phaistos disc, -sha of the incantation express alike meanings: affirmative/optative. (Previously has been found serious resemblance of Hattic verbal grammar and that of Phaistos disc idiom; also has been proved relatedness of Hattic and Kabardinian). Component sa of sabujajəjədja correlates with Hattic negative prefix šaš. Component bu can be a marker of agent or a compound of agent and patient markers. The rest part of the word: jajəjəd is left-handed triplication of jed that is the main root and that probably means “to approach”. In current context triplication means intensifying. Thus, sabujajəjədja probably means “let it not to approach”.

Key words: Minoan; Kaftiw; Minoan language in Egyptian recordings; London Medicine Papyrus

Akulov_Kaftiw_incantation

How to estimate degree of resemblance of semiotic systems?   

Alexander Akulov, Tresi Nonno

Abstract:

In order to estimate degree of resemblance of semiotic systems first of all they should be represented as structures to which formal methods can be applied. Semiotic systems should be represented as ordered pair of the following view: < A ; Ω > where A is set of concepts / memes and Ω is a set of contextual distributions determined upon A. Any set of related concepts is A set; any relations determined upon this A form Ω set. Any semiotic system can be represented as set of elements with only two binary relations: subordination and similarity. Elements of Ω sets of certain particular semiotic system are relations existing between elements of corresponding A set. Degree of correlation of two semiotic systems is superposition of degrees of correlation of A sets and Ω sets. The more similar are A sets and Ω sets of compared systems the higher is the index of correlation.

Key words: semiotics; formalization of semiotics; abstract algebra; set theory

Akulov_Nonno_semiotic_systems_correlation

Some thoughts on the revitalization of Nanai language 

Vasily Kharitonov

Abstract:

The paper is devoted to the contemporary sociolinguistic situation of Nanai language (one of Tungusic languages), and ideas about its revitalization. Main problems are the following: low activity of Nanai people, gaps between different groups and institutions, lack of good materials for Nanai language learning. I propose some initial actions for attempt of revitalization of Nanai language; main tasks are located in social sphere: to work with the aged people in order to softer their reaction to language competences of the youth; to work with the youth in order to inspire them to learn Nanai language and to make different interesting projects with Nanai language: like music, discussion clubs et c. One of the main tasks is organizing Nanai language nests.

Key words: Tungusic languages; Nanai language; endangered languages revitalization; indigenous languages; sociolinguistics

Kharitonov_Nanai_sociolinguistics

CAES Vol 2, № 4

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Editor’s foreword

Articles:

An examination of the calibration of linguistic distance. Part II Covariates 

Simon Brown

Abstract:

The assessment of linguistic relatedness is often based on the analysis of word lists to estimate the distance between languages.  To relate the distance to a divergence time requires established calibration data and a model representing the underlying processes of language change.  However, the available calibration data may be based on different sorts of evidence, come from different geographical regions and represent different language families, for example.  Covariates such as these can impact significantly on the estimated divergence time.  This reinforces concerns about the selection of calibration data, especially when just a small number of values are chosen.

Key words:  dating evidence; geographical region; linguistic distance; model dependence

Brown_covariates_2nd_part

Commented translation of the Cannibal Hymn

Anna Dvornichenko

Abstract:

Pyramid Texts include significant information about early Egyptian religion, rituals and society; however, meaning of the majority of spells is not completely clear for researchers. Cannibal Hymn is one of the most famous and complicated spell which is contained in Pyramid and Coffin Texts, so different egyptologists have devoted articles to this interesting spell. In this paper my commented, interlinear translation and transliteration of Cannibal Hymn are represented, and I propose my interpretation of content of this utterance based on Egyptian mythological concepts and ancient Egyptian historical realities. Also are offered explanations of certain unclear words which are debatable among egyptologists.

Key words: Cannibal Hymn; Pyramid Texts; Egyptian religious; literature; myths

Dvornichenko_Cannibal_Hymn

Think pieces:

The idiom of Phaistos disc seems to be a relative of Hattic language

Alexander Akulov

Abstract:

Language of the disc has reduplication of root (blocks A3, A15) and well elaborated prefixation; it means that Minoan can probably be relative of Anatolian languages, or Hattic, or Sumerian (languages which also have well elaborated prefixation). Having attached readings of some known signs I discovered that certain syllables inside Minoan verbs are distributed in very alike positions as certain grammatical markers inside Hattic verb. For example: all verbs of the disc have se in terminal right positions that correlates with Hattic particle which is placed in the same position; there are many verbs with –qe- suffix that correlates with Hattic –e- suffix (supposedly a marker of tense/aspect); blocks A3, A15 have syllable te placed in the same position as Hattic orientation/location marker –te-; block A22 has sylable te in terminal left

Key words: Phaistos disc; Minoan language; Hattic language

Akulov_Minoan_Hattic

History of Japanese culture interpreted in the light of culturalism

Tresi Nonno

Abstract:

Cultures of cosmocentric paradigm demonstrate high interest in nature, high tolerance toward different manifestations of human body.  Cultures of sociocentric paradigm demonstrate low interest in nature, low tolerance toward manifestations of human body, high interest in morality. Cultures of the same paradigm communicate rather easily; communication of cultures belonging to different paradigms usually leads to appearing of cargo cults. Communication of cultures belonging to the same paradigm also can lead to appearing of cargo cults: Confucianism in Japan was cargo cult since it didn’t become social lift. Japanese culture is cosmocentric since its base (Jōmon) was cosmocentric. Spreading of rice culture inspired weakening of cosmocentric trend. Kokugaku movement and Meiji Restoration were first steps to the restoration of initial cosmocentric values; however they didn’t deconstruct patterns of cargo Confucianism. True restoration of cosmocentric paradigm began after WWI since values of contemporary Western civilization are much alike those of Jōmon.

Key words: culturalism; cosmocentrism; sociocentrism; history of Japan

Nonno_Japanese_culture_history

On Ainu etymology of names Izanagi and Izanami

Tresi Nonno

Abstract:

Names Izanagi and Izanami are recorded by completely meaningless combinations of kanji; existing interpretations of these names are folk etymologies, i.e.: it means that Izanagi and Izanami seem not to be words of Japanese origin. Izanagi and Izanami belong to the little amount of kami who form spouse pairs: there is about 6% of such kami in first scroll of Nihon Shoki, such type of kami is rather widely represented in Ainu folklore. Ending gi in Izanagi correlates with ending kur used in male names of Ainu kamuy/heroes ending mi in Izanami correlates with ending mat used in female names of Ainu kamuy/heroes. Component izana seems to have originated from ancient Ainu form: *’iso-ne that means “to be bearful”, “to be lucky in hunting”, “to be rich”; and thus, initial forms of Izanagi was *’Iso-ne-kwr “Bearful man”and initial form of Izanami was *’Iso-ne-mat “Bearful woman”.

 Key words: Izanagi; Izanami; Shinto; Ainu issues in Shinto; etymology of kami names

Nonno_Izanagi_and_Izanami

CAES Vol 2, № 3

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Editor’s foreword

Articles:

Two measures of linguistic distance 

Simon Brown

Abstract:

Linguistic relatedness is often assessed on the basis of lexical analysis using the normalised Levenshtein distance (LDN), but a variant of this is the LDN divided (LDND) has been used in a similar way.  As LDND is the LDN normalised by the ‘global distance’ (Γ(α, β)) between two languages, it is useful to consider both the properties of both LDND and Γ(α, β).  Because Γ(α, β), like LDN, can not be greater than 1, LDND is ‘almost always’ greater than LDN and has no upper limit.  However, for Indo-European word lists LDND is linearly related to LDN (p < 0.001) because Γ(α, β) has a very narrow distribution.  Similar Γ(α, β) of were obtained in two numerical experiments based on (i) randomly generated ‘words’ or (ii) English words.  This indicates that LDN may a better measure of lexical distance.

Key words: distribution; global distance; Levenshtein distance; lexical distance

Brown_Two_measures_of_linguistic_distance

Think pieces:

Some notes on structure of verb of Phaistos disc inscription idiom 

Alexander Akulov

Abstract:

Pendlebury and Otkupshchikov have proved that Phaistos disc inscription is read from center to periphery. Word order of all languages of ancient Mediterranean region and neighbor areas was SOV, and it’s rather logical to suppose the same for the language of disc. Having known word order it is possible to single out blocks containing predicates/verbs in the text of inscription. These blocks have plumed head sign in their ends (terminal right positions). Blocks A3, A15 show that Minoan has reduplication of root and well elaborated prefixation. Minoan can’t be relative of Etruscan since Etruscan hasn’t prefixation, but can probably be relative of Anatolian languages, or Hattic or Sumerian. Adding of some known readings hasn’t given any result for verbal forms decoding, but allowed to identify name Tetija (block B8) that seems to be Minoan form of Tethys.

Key words: Phaistos disc; Minoan language;  Tetija; Tethys; writing system deciphering

Akulov_Phaistos_disc

Whether Sumerian language is related to Munda?  

Alexander Akulov

Abstract:

Having compared 34 lexical items of Sumerian with 34 lexical items of Mundari/Santali Diakonoff came to conclusion that Sumerian is a relative of Munda languages. The hypothesis seemed to be rather realistic, however, as far as comparison of randomly chosen lexical items without due attention to structures can’t say anything about languages relationship so the hypothesis was to be tested by a verified method. Verified method is Verbal Grammar Correlation Index (VGCI).  According to VGCI methodology index of correlation of two languages belonging to the same stock is 0.4 or higher; index of correlation of two languages that aren’t related is 0.3 or lower. VGCI of Sumerian and Mundari is 0.18 that evidently proves their unrelatedness. Due to transitivity of relatedness/unrelatedness Sumerian isn’t relative of Austroasiatic stock. Perspective directions of searching for potential relatives of Sumerian are the following: Basque, Kartvelian, Northeast Caucasian or Sino-Tibetan stocks.

Key words: Sumerian; Munda; Austroasitic stock; comparative linguistics

Akulov_Sumerian_Munda

Contemporary society of the Andaman Islands and problems of indigenous people

Iana Lukina

Abstract:

 The society of the Andaman Islands is a melting pot. There are people from India, Bangladesh, Burma and Sri-Lanka. Nowadays they share these lands with indigenous people who appeared here a long time ago. The establishing of contacts took a lot of time and even though now it seems that the golden middle was successfully found question of communication with indigenous people is still remain quite urgent. From one hand indigenous people receive many goods from modern civilization, however, from the other hand modern world brings such problems as new diseases, alcoholism and destroying of traditional cultures. Indigenous people who actively get in touch with modern civilization usually consider their indigenous culture mostly as a hobby or as a mean for attracting tourists, but they won’t maintain traditions of life of their ancestors seriously. Another problem is that authorities have no clear imagination of policy toward indigenous people.

Key words: The Andaman Islands, Jarawa; Onge; Sentinelese; indigenous people; adaptation

Lukina_Andaman_islands_indigenous_people

Some preliminary notes on etymology of some Ainu suppletive verbs

Tresi Nonno

Abstract:

In modern Ainu language there are verbs expressing grammatical numbers irregularly: a – rok “to sit”, an – oka “to be present”, arpa/oman – paye “to go”, as – roski “to stand”, ek – arki “to come”, mi – utomciwre “to wear”, rayke – ronnu “to kill”, uk – uyna “to take”, unu – uyruke “to place”. A – rok and as – roski have been made according to the same model: plural form is made of singular by adding rk/ki circumfix; initially r was ar “very” and k/ki was ki “to act”. Arpa and paye both are derivates of pa “to step”. Oman is compound of om “thigh” and an “to be present”. Arki is compound of ar “very” and distorted singular from ek. Rayke – ronnu have been made of root ray “to die” and different causatives. Mi – utomciwre are derivates of different roots. Structures of rest pairs are yet unclear; they will be matter of further consideration.

Key words: Ainu language; suppletive verbs; Ainu language history

Nonno_Ainu_suppletive_verbs

CAES Vol. 2, № 2

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Articles

An examination of the calibration of linguistic distance. I. Sensitivity 

Simon Brown

Abstract:

The interpretation of the calibration of linguistic distance depends on both the model used and on the implementation of the calibration.  While these are important considerations and can greatly affect the estimated divergence times, the calibration data themselves are clear evidence that lexical distance is at best of limited value as a measure of language change for divergence times in excess of about 4500 y.  Specifically, the data indicate that it is likely that at least 50% of lexical divergence takes place over only 1000 y and that by about 4500 y a 1% change in lexical distance corresponds to a 10% change in estimated divergence time.  A measure of linguistic distance that changes more slowly than lexical distance is required if longer divergence times are to be estimated reliably.

Key words: calibration; divergence time; lexical distance; sensitivity

Brown_calibration

Symbolism and social control of Zangbeto among the Ogu of Southwestern Nigeria

Dominic Okure

Abstract:

Contemporary global trends undermine African indigenous methods of social control such as Zangbeto masked cult among the Ogu of Southwestern Nigeria. While Zangbeto has enjoyed a great deal of multidisciplinary publicity among Nigerian scholars recently, there are missing emphases on the organizational structure and extant symbolism which enable the cult to function beyond the boundaries of mere vigilantism, serving as an effective mechanism of informal social control among indigenous Ogu communities. This article examines Zangbeto as an integral component of Ogu culture with a variety of symbols that intensify its ethereal and mystical perception by people, as a result of which it is able to function as an effective informal agent of control. It argues that contemporary formal control systems in Nigeria should include indigenous cultural values and methods to attain greater efficiency.

 Key words: Ogu; Zangbeto; social control; symbolism; indigenous people; masked cult

Okure_Zangbeto

Think pieces

Ainu is a relative of Sino-Tibetan stock (preliminary notes)

Alexander Akulov

Abstract:

Verbal Grammar Correlation Index (VGCI) can completely answer the question: whether languages are related. VGCI is logical conjunction of two indexes: grammatical meanings sets correlation index and index of correlation of positional distributions of common meanings. If value of VGCI is about 0.4 or more then languages are related; if value of VGCI is about 0.3 or less then languages are not related. VGCI of Ainu and Qiang is 0.41. Due to transitivity of relatedness Ainu is a relative of whole Sino-Tibetan stock. Evidences of linguistics correlate well with those of genetics: Ainu, Qiang, Tibetan have different subclades of Y haplogroup D.

Key words: Ainu language; Qiang language; Sino-Tibetan stock; Ainu relatives; typology; comparative linguistics

Akulov_Ainu_Qiang

Culturalist criticism of queer doctrine

Yelena Kolesnikova

Abstract

Queer doctrine is generally considered as good medicine for liberation of gender and sexuality. However, actually queer helps not liberation, but oppression due to the following: 1) term queer actually means “freak”, “weird” and thus it represents all LGBT issues as freakish or issues which have no deep historical background and indirectly strengthens heteronormative/cisgender society based on Abrahamic values; 2) queer doctrine has been inspired by Marxism or its derivatives and thus queer doctrine is also an implementation of Abrahamic tradition as far as Marxism is an Abrahamic religion. Liberation of gender/sexuality is completely impossible if we follow Abrahamic paradigm or its derivatives. Postgenderism (radical elimination of gender) is nothing else but just another side of conservative Abrahamic coin. True liberation of gender/sexuality would be multigenderism, but not postgederism, i.e.: in current conditions settling niches for more than two genders would be much more helpful than complete elimination of gender.

Key words: culturalism; LGBT; gender theory; multigenderism; queer doctrine; postgenderism

Kolesnikova_against_queer

India Northeast indigenous people adaptation to modern life (preliminary notes)

Iana Lukina

Indigenous people of Indian Northeast represent a notable example of indigenous people involved in the process of adaptation to contemporaneity. It is important to note that indigenous people of considered region mostly belong to Mongoloid race and speak different languages belonging to Sino-Tibetan stock. The process of adaptation always goes side by side with a huge amount of problems; problems appear when people who have no connections have to live together. Politics, religion and social habits play a very specific and significant role in such cases. An ethnic minority can very easy lose its identity and become not able to survive.

Key words: Northeast of India; cultural adaptation; indigenous people of India; indigenous identity

Lukina_Nagaland

Resemblance of Ainu ornaments and those of Shang culture

Tresi Nonno

Abstract

 Comparison of ornaments should be the same as comparison of languages, i.e.: should be compared sets of basic elements and positional distributions of elements. Having applied this methodology to Ainu ornaments and to those of Nivkh, Tungusic people, Tlingit, Maori and Shang I discovered that ornamental traditions of Ainu and Shang demonstrate notable resemblance while the rest traditions differ seriously from Ainu. Main element of Ainu and Shang ornamental traditions is rectangular volute, and this element covers almost all available space. This fact also correlates well with data of genetics. This is a strong proof of southern origin of Ainu. Also it can be one of evidences of Ainu and Sino-Tibetan people relatedness.

Key words: Ainu; Shang; ornaments

Nonno_Ainu_Shang

CAES Vol. 2, № 1

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Editor’s foreword

Articles:

An analysis of the distributions of linguistic distances

Simon Brown

Abstract:

Standard measures of language relatedness such as the proportion of cognates or lexical distance that are commonly used are averaged over the pairs in word lists. Underlying these are distributions of data that have characteristics that convey information about the language pairs. A simple model of the distribution of lexical distance (D) based on a mixture of the beta distribution and discrete probabilities has been devised. Expressions based on this model are given for the expected value and variance of D that agree well with the values obtained from 1225 pairs of Indo-European languages.

Key words: distribution; lexical distance; mean; variance

Brown_distribution

Commented translation of 魏志倭人伝 “Notes about Wa people from the chronicle of Wei”

Tresi Nonno

Abstract:

魏志倭人伝 “Notes about Wa people from the chronicle of Wei” is the main source about cultures existed upon Japanese archipelago in second half of Yayoi epoch (1 – 3 centuries AD). Despite the text is very important source for studies of Yayoi cultures, it has never been translated into English proper way, i.e.: until now there were no English translations of “Notes about Wa people” where each sentence of original classical Chinese text would be accompanied by corresponding English translation and required commentaries. Also all academic interpretations of “Notes about Wa people” have been made from the point of view of Japanese state historical mythology; such approach hardly can be productive since there were no Japanese in the epoch of Yayoi yet. In current paper a precise and impartial translation of 魏志倭人伝 is represented; all personal names and place names directly related to Wa people are given in reconstructed forms (i.e.: in forms of Early Medieval Chinese).

Key words: Yamatai, queen Himiko, Wa people, Wajin den, Woren chuan

Wei_zhi

Think pieces:

Krasheninnikov’s and Dybowski’s materials as sources on grammar of Kamchatka – Northern Kuril Ainu dialect

Alexander Akulov

Abstract:

Krasheninnikov’s and Dybowski’s recording on Kamchatka – Northern Kuril Ainu dialect are actually word lists. However, since they contain not just lexis, but also phrases it is possible to reconstruct grammar of the idiom. Krasheninnikov’s and Dybowski’s recordings represent different stages of the same dialect, but not different as it probably can be supposed. Grammar of the dialect actually doesn’t differ much from that of other Ainu dialects, but it has some local features: negation is expressed by preposition of eyn while other Ainu dialects use somo as negative preposition; also there seem to be two desiderative forms while other Ainu dialects have one desiderative form only.

Key words: Kamchatka Ainu; Ainu language; Ainu language history

Kamchatka-Kuril_idiom

Ethnic identity of Setos in the light of constructivism and positivism

Alexander Akulov; Fedor Alekseev

Abstract:

Seto people are an indigenous ethnic and linguistic minority in South-Eastern Estonia and North-Western Russia. Seto language belongs to Finnic group of Uralic family. There are about 15 thousands of Setos around the world: 214 of them live in Pechorsky District of Pskov region (Russia) and the rest live in Põlva and Võro counties (Estonia). Also there is unverified information about some Setos in Siberia. In Pskov Region Setos are officially recognized as a protected minority. In Estonia Seto idiom is considered as a variant of Võro idiom: this case is a notable illustration of extreme positivism approach to ethnic identity. Such approach hardly can be considered as productive since proximity of idioms can’t be obstacle for recognition of an ethnic group as separated; also due attention should be paid to narratives about self-identification, i.e.: ideas of both approaches (positivism and constructivism) should be taken into account.

Key words: Seto people; ethnic identity; language revitalization

Seto

Virtualization as a mean of endangered languages revitalization

Alexander Akulov; Tresi Nonno

Abstract

Normal existence of any language is possible only if language can change itself freely and naturally, but isn’t restricted by an artificially created traditional culture. As far as normal development of indigenous languages (endangered languages are mostly languages of indigenous people) in real life meets many obstacles we suppose that virtualization can be helpful. Virtualization means that main platform of language use is web and virtual worlds; virtualization can provide good field for language use and also can restrict negative influence of New Age and ‘frowning elders’ (i.e.: those indigenous people who are against any invention of new items and any changes). Virtualization also suggests serious revision of such concepts as ethnic identity and native tongue: ethnic identity should be determined not by genetics/physical anthropology, but by language; the concept of native tongue should be thrown out and attention should be paid to actual communicative ability only.

Key words: endangered languages; language revitalization; virtualization

Virtualization