compound word dating in Japanese?

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LinguistCat
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compound word dating in Japanese?

Post by LinguistCat » Thu 18 Jan 2018, 21:07

How do you know (or have a best guess) for when a compound word was formed in Japanese, even just a general stage of language development? Is there a good way to do this besides looking up etymologies (which, until I find better references, limits me to what is on wiktionary)? Like, some would be relatively modern, if part of the compound came from a foreign language that didn't have contact with Japan before a certain time, or if it was a technology or concept that was only known to Japan after a certain stage. But what about compounds derived from onyomi of certain kanji, where it could have been derived earlier or later? Should I assume that compounds of native Japanese words probably date pretty far back (Old or even Pre-Old/Proto Japonic?) unless I have good reason to think otherwise, or is there a specific stage I should assume it's from unless there's evidence it showed up earlier OR later? Are there any general tips for "figuring out when a compound was made in any given language" that someone could offer even if they aren't familiar with the development of Japanese?

I'm trying to derive a relative to Japanese and the Ryukyuan languages for a modern fantasy story, so when compounds were formed or when words were borrowed is important for this. I might derive things differently if a word was borrowed/made after the split (it wasn't a clean language split until after the Heian period but there was some borrowing after that from Japanese), but I want to include most cognates from before the split including some things that fell out of standard modern Japanese.
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Lambuzhao
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Re: compound word dating in Japanese?

Post by Lambuzhao » Fri 19 Jan 2018, 21:08

I wish I could give a quick and dirty answer. Mine would be to kind of use the Go'on and Kan'on pronunciations as a guide, but, insofar as compounds are concerned, you might wind up with some real chimeras.

So, maybe this may give a better idea

https://skemman.is/bitstream/1946/23619 ... nguage.pdf

And at least give some further first sources to explore.

https://onethousanddrawings.files.wordp ... 600&crop=1
[:)]
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LinguistCat
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Re: compound word dating in Japanese?

Post by LinguistCat » Sat 20 Jan 2018, 02:54

Thank you. All help is appreciated and this looks very helpful. : D
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