Heritage speakers’ comprehension ability
20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90
of Three Language Communities
Japanese native speakers have a
writing system for general use.
Ryukyuan native speakers have never
had such a writing system.
“Ryukyu no kotoba no
（Kuroshio Publisher, 2015）
ーThe “Unified Writing
System for the Ryukyuan
Charactaristics of the Unified Writing System
☞ Using Kana -based letters including “new”
letters for Ryukyuan languages.
☞ Not using Kanji (Chinese characters)
☞ Leaving a space between words
☞ All dialects of Ryukyuan languages are written
under one system.
Ex. Nums and Kinds of Vowels in Different
i, a, u
i, e, ï, a, o, u
i, ɛ, a, ɯ, u
i, e, a, o, u
i, e, ɨ, ə, a, o, u
i, e, a, o, u
Nasalized p-series syll.
pã pĩ pũ pẽ põ
Aspirated k-series syll.
kha khi khu khe kho
Examples of Newley added letters
Standard k-series syll.
か き く け こ
ka ki ku ke ko
Standard p-series syll.
ぱ ぴ ぷ ぺ ぽ
pa pi pu pe po
diacritic “ > ” added diacritic “ ~ ” added
“Taramafutsu Jiten” (2017)
(Tarama village board of education)
ーDictionary of Tarama Dialect
Playing cards of Yonaguni Ryukyuan (2016)
(Yonaguni town board of education)
a typeface designed
for Ryukyuan languages
Designed by Jiyukobo, Ltd.
Engineered by Realtype, Inc.
Funded by The Toyota Foundation
“Yu Shotai” and “Shima Shotai”
Yu Gothic (Microsoft Word 2016)
ka i ku te xe mu
cka qqi qku lte xce xmu