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Ainu

A language of Japan

ISO 639-3ain

Population  15 in Japan (1996 A. Vovin). Ethnic population: 15,000 in Japan.
Region  Kuril Islands (Tsishima), Hokkaido.
Alternate names   Ainu Itak
Dialects  Sakhalin (Saghilin), Taraika, Hokkaido (Ezo, Yezo), Kuril (Shikotan, Tsishima). There were at least 19 dialects.
Classification  Language isolate
Language use  Shifting to Japanese.
Language development  NT: 1897.
Writing system  Katakana script. Latin script.
Comments  Ainu [aib] in China is a different, unrelated language. SOV. Nearly extinct.