A Descriptive Grammar of Early Old Japanese Prose
John R. Bentley
The oldest written stage of the Japanese language forms the subject of John Bentley’s important new volume. The underlying texts (also presented here) are those of the religious liturgies (norito) and imperial edicts (A.D. 685). Part one deals with the liturgies, the writing system, texts, and phonology and the dating problem. The main chapters of the book are a description of nominals, verbs, verbal suffixes, auxiliary verbs, particles, and conjunctions. A chapter on the lexicon, detailing many hapax legomena and interesting words, makes this into a major reference work on early Japanese.