Quick question: Does anyone know much about Nigerians in Japan? There are a few near where I live, and I remember reading somewhere that Japanese is similar to a certain Nigerian language. Interestingly, I’ve seen them hang with several trendy young Japanese, i.e. the men and women who get deep tans and dye their hair strawberry blond. Perhaps these would be “jiggers”, analogous to the white hip-hop imitating whiggers.
BTW, for an interesting Japanese/Nigerian exchange, scroll down this review of Fumiko Enchi’s novel “The Waiting Years”. Maybe Nigeria and Japan aren’t such odd bedfellows after all.
Impolitic comments without statistical substantiation have been removed. Concerning the Japanese-Nigerian language connection
The function of tone is different in tonal languages. By using a different tone for one word, the meaning of that word can be dramatically changed. For example, in Igala, a Nigerian tonal language, the three letter word “awo” can have many meanings depending upon the tones used in its production….Tone may also be used grammatically; used mainly or exclusively for the signaling of grammatical distinctions. This is often the way it is used in African tonal languages. It is often used to distinguish between main clauses and subordinate relative clauses. (Katamba 188). In Japanese, tone often has this grammatical function. It is used to distinguish words, but is also used to mark sentences.
I was kind of surprised at this, but now I see that the similarity is just coincidental. Given the geographic separation, the difference in characters, etc., Japanese & Igala are certainly not part of any “Indo-European”
-like language superfamily.