Miyakoan is a Southern Ryukyuan language spoken in the Miyako Islands, to the southwest of Okinawa in Japan. There are possibly 10,000-15,000 Miyakoan speakers, most of whom are over 60 years old. Younger people in the Miyako Islands tend to speak Japanese as their first language, and maybe use Miyakoan only for songs and rituals.
In Japanese Miyakoan is refered to as the Miyako dialect (宮古方言 [Miyako hōgen]). The native names for the language are 宮古口 / ミャークフツ / Myaakufutsu [mjaːkufutss̩] or 島口 / スマフツ / Sumafutsu.
Each of the Miyako Islands has its own dialect. These include the the Miyako Island (宮古島) dialect, the Ōgami (宮古島) Island dialect, the Irabu Island (伊良部島) dialect, and the dialect of the islands of Tarama (多良間村) and Minna (水納島), which is considered a separate language by some people.
Information about written Miyakoan supplied by Wolfram Siegel (PDF)
Information about Miyakoan
Page created 26.05.21. Last modified: 28.05.21
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