Bjarke Frellesvig describes the development of the Japanese language from its recorded beginnings until the present day as reflected by the written sources and historical record. Beginning with a description of the oldest attested stage of the language, Old Japanese (approximately the eighth century AD), and then tracing the changes which occurred through the Early Middle Japanese (800-1200), Late Middle Japanese (1200s-1600) and the Modern Japanese (1600-onwards) periods, a complete internal history of the language is examined and discussed. This account provides a comprehensive study of how the Japanese language has developed and adapted, providing a much needed resource for scholars. A History of the Japanese Language is invaluable to all those interested in the Japanese language and also students of language change generally.

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