Do all people of Naha today speak Shibaikutuba?
It depends on the speaker. Shibaikutuba was formed and spread already in the pre-war period. Before that, there existed pure regional languages, the languages of Nishihara, Nakagusuku, Urasoe and so on. While a lot of these words remained, these languages gradually gave way to Shibaikutuba which spread through Shibai theatre TV, radio and folk songs. Furthermore, Shibaikutuba became the language of public speaking. While standard language is not a term I particularly like, I guess that Shibaikutuba can be called the standard language of Okinawa. What you hear today on TV, in radio, the folk songs, is all Shibaikutuba. It spread through the entire island. One can thus address people in Shibaikutuba throughout all of Okinawa and its neighbouring islands? Yes, when I go to Kin Village in the northern part I use Shibaikutuba and I make myself completely understood there. The elderly people reply in Shibaikutuba, but with a Kin accent. It’s among themselves that they use the Kin language an
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