|Budget Amount *help
¥1,800,000 (Direct Cost: ¥1,800,000)
Fiscal Year 2002: ¥800,000 (Direct Cost: ¥800,000)
Fiscal Year 2001: ¥1,000,000 (Direct Cost: ¥1,000,000)
In connection with the problem of the overlapping of various Japanese dialects, the distribution of terms for 'rivercourses' and the borderline between dialects that cuts across the Kanto region are taken up, and the necessity is pointed out of taking into account, when considering the factors that have given rise to this borderline between dialects, the special linguistic features of 'Monsoon Asia' which formed the original background of archaic Japanese.
In this study the following points are made. (1) There is a difference between older and newer distribution areas for terms for rivers and other wetlands. (2) The borderlines are determined by various overlapping natural borders such as the 'Oku-Tokyo Bay - Kashiwazaki line', the 'Kashiwazaki - Choshi geological line', the 'River Tonegawa' and so on. (3) The distribution of dialects along this borderline has been influenced by it directly or indirectly since the Jomon period. (4) Nai, a term for a watercourse, is older than that for tani, and the distribution of nai is directly linked to the 'Monsoon Asia' cultural region of East Asia, where it is distributed in a pattern spreading out from the center. (5) Shared linguistic features., such as the existence of common classificatory terms, are recognized for the 'Monsoon Asia' cultural region. (6) The formation of the 'Monsoon Asia' cultural region can be traced back as far as the Paleolithic era, and the area exhibits extremely close links, not only linguistically, but also in terms of climatic and cultural anthropological features. The region thus deserves attention from the perspective of cultural anthropology too.