User:Eirikr moved this page from カムイモシリ to カムイモシㇼ with a small ㇼ, calling the former spelling a "mistake". The list originally transwiki'd from Wkitionary and now at User:Cnilep/Ainu does use small ㇼ, but Batchelor 1926 uses the ordinary リ. (Shibatani 1990, the other source I've consulted, only uses romaji.) I'm not sure where Eirikr got the version with small ㇼ; as I don't speak Ainu, that may well be commonly used. At minimum, both should be listed as alternative spellings, I think. Cnilep (talk) 02:28, 14 March 2013 (UTC)
- Hi, small kana are used to spell final consonants. Have a look at Ainu_language#Writing, particularly Ainu_language#Special_katakana_for_the_Ainu_language.
- Using the small kana, mosir would be モシㇼ, while spelling with the regular-sized リ as モシリ would wind up being read as mosiri. Digging around in Batchelor's dictionary (freely available online here), I find he gives both in the entry on page 270, and suggests that “Moshiri often becomes moshir’ in composition”; further analysis suggests that moshir is used when followed by a verb or particle, and moshiri when followed by a noun. This is very interesting to me, as this is awfully similar to how some Old Japanese nouns worked with emphatic nominative particle い (i). This also has apparent echoes in Korean. I haven't spent much time with Ainu, and stumbling upon this makes me wonder if this pattern is present in any regular fashion in other Ainu nouns. Of course, it's entirely possible that it's just a coincidence.
- Another example of small-kana use is the small ㇰ used to spell itak, as イタㇰ. Using the regularly sized ク to spell イタク would be read as itaku, which is the plural of itak, i.e. speech. Note that Batchelor's romaji spellings are itak (page 188) and itaku (page 190), respectively, but his katakana spellings are identically イタク for both entries.
- I think small kana are a relatively recent typographical development, and that Batchelor probably didn't have them to use. I also note in his dictionary that his orthography, both in kana and in romaji, is biased towards Japanese pronunciation -- for instance, he spells phoneme /si/ as shi, more in line with how a Japanese speaker would pronounce this. It appears that the standard orthography for Ainu has changed since Batchelor's time, and the convention now is to spell /si/ as si in romaji, and in katakana, to spell final consonants using the small kana variants. The Ainu Times newspaper shows both romaji and kana conventions in use; poke around their website at http://www.geocities.jp/otarunay/taimuzu.html to see some examples.
- Hope that helps, -- Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 07:13, 14 March 2013 (UTC)