N. Murayama -A
Introduction to Sh. Murayama's Work
Study of Ainu Language

ORIG: 98/04/

"Study of Ainu Language" was published in Japanese language from San-ichi Shobo in 1993. In the first section of Chapter I, Sh. Murayama wrote such a conclusive statement as; For meaning of "Jomon", you may wish to refer to Page 8.
K. Hanihara has written "Origin of Japanese" (1992) from which Murayama-san quoted, which is excerpted and translated as follows.

Murayama-san started Chapter I by discussing that;

In Chapter II, the author discusses 14 Ainu words to compare with Japanese equivalent. I will leave this chapter for some future by just listing the words.

1atuotakuto vomit
2nisuusuusually wooden bowl in which nuts are ground
3nisatsinonomemorning, dawn
4inawawawood carving for worship/ bubble
5inotuinotidead soul/ life
6netonotocalm sea (sea being calm)
7ikkewkosibackbone/ waist
8pooposon (small)/ large
9rasikirazilouse/ louse egg
10muromurohole, cave
11satasadry/ shallow
12sussusukuto wade/ to wash

Chapter III presents 36 word comparison between Ainu and Austronesian languages.

At this moment, I'll pick one from the 36, the most interesting one to me. That is a word meaning "louse". First, he presents various form (dialects and derivative words) as follows, referring to works of M.CHIRI and S. HATTORI.

AinuEnglishUsed in
kilouse (usually on head)Hokkaido
urki, urikilouse on clothes (ur=clothes)Hokkaido
ponkismall louse Hokkaido
rasilouse Sakhalin
rasilouse on clothes Sakhalin
pon rasismall louse Sakhalin
sapa rasihead louse Sakhalin

Next, he presents *kutu as the theoretically reconstructed Proto AustroNesian (PAN) for "louse, head louse". The reconstruction, done by Dempwolff, is founded by 8 AustroNesian (AN) languages as follows.

kutoTagaloghead louse
hutuToba/Bataqhead louse
kutuTongahead louse
'utuSamoahead louse

He further presents findings from Codrington's "Melanesian Languages". Namely, he show that 24 Melanesian languages have "louse" as, kutu, gutu, gut, git, wutu, wut, wu, u'u or u.

All above is the foundation and support for the reconstructed word *kutu for louse. (It is customary to put an asterisk, "*", before a word where the word is not in existence but theoretically reconstructed.)

From the reconstructed word, Murayama deducts; *kutu > *kit > ki, for Ainu.

The study into the word, "louse", should not finish without referring to "louse egg". After similar reconstruction procedures, "*lit'a" or "*lint'a" has been reconstructed by Dempwolff. For simplicity, just listing various actual forms; lisa, liha, lia, lita, lissa, lieh, lusa, lisaha & disa, are used in various areas in the south Pacific.

Ainu in Sakhalin island said "louse" as "rasi". Murayama suspects that the word may have initially meant "louse egg". Anyway, the word "rasi" comes like *li'ta > *lisa > *risa > rasi, Murayama says.

Very interesting to note is that Japanese has it, too. According to Murayama, Ishikawa prefecture has a dialect for "louse egg", as kirazi or kisazi; in Fukusima and Ibaragi prefectures, kirazu or kiraza. Kisazi is used in Sado Island and Wakayama pref. as well. A form kizasi exists in Saitama and kisazi in Tanegasima Island south of Kyushu.

Murayama appears to propose that those Japanese dialect word forms are compound of ki (louse) + rasi (louse egg).

As I have come to this section, I remembered a brief record in Oho-Sumi Fudoki.

For another word "pishi" in Oho-Sumi Fudoki, refer to Page 2.

This was noted in my mail to Mr. Murayama, late 1994 or early 1995, as mentioned previuosly. He came back saying that the last sound "m" of "kisasim" had been bothering him.

In his reply, he kindly included a few pages that are under proof reading for his next publishing. They described his study of "louse egg" words in Okinawa dialects. Some 17 dialects that are used in surrounding islands are analyzed.

Again, just to list the dialect words for "louse egg": dz'tasi, gesa, gi, gisasi, gissa, giza, kasi, ke, kye, kasi, ngassang, 'tsa, zzassa.

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