1st Edition

Routledge Handbook of Japanese Sociolinguistics

Edited By Patrick Heinrich, Yumiko Ohara Copyright 2019
    488 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    486 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Presenting new approaches and results previously inaccessible in English, the Routledge Handbook of Japanese Sociolinguistics provides an insight into the language and society of contemporary Japan from a fresh perspective.

    While it was once believed that Japan was a linguistically homogenous country, research over the past two decades has shown Japan to be a multilingual and sociolinguistically diversifying country. Building on this approach, the contributors to this handbook take this further, combining Japanese and western approaches alike and producing research which is relevant to twenty-first century societies. Organised into five parts, the sections covered include:

    • The languages and language varieties of Japan.

    • The multilingual ecology.

    • Variation, style and interaction.

    • Language problems and language planning.

    • Research overviews.

    With contributions from across the field of Japanese sociolinguistics, this handbook will prove very useful for students and scholars of Japanese Studies, as well as sociolinguists more generally.

    Part I: The languages and language varieties of Japan

    1. Ainu language and Ainu speakers, Mika Fukazawa

    2. Ryukyuan sociolinguistics, Masahide Ishihara, Katsuyuki Miyahira, Gijs van der Lubbe and Patrick Heinrich

    3. Ryukyu-substrate Japanese: Contact effects on the replacing language, Mark Anderson

    4. Japanese dialects, Shinji Sanada

    5. Koine and koineization, Shin Abe

    6. Language and migration in Japan, Ruriko Otomo

    7. English in Japan, Ryuko Kubota

    Part II: The multilingual ecology

    8. Metroethnicity: From standardized identities to language aesthetics, John C. Maher

    9. Metrolingualism in transitional Japan, Emi Otsuji

    10. Linguistic landscape, Peter Backhaus

    11. Bilingualism and bilingual education in Japan, Sachiyo Fujita-Round

    12. Japan as a multilingual society, Hiroshi Shoji

    Part III: Variation, style and interaction

    13. Language variation and change, Kazuko Matsumoto

    14. Code switching, language crossing and mediatized translinguistic practices, Rika Yamashita

    15. Language and social relations, Zi Wang

    16. Politeness, Yasuko Obana

    17. Impoliteness, Yukiko Nishimura 

    18. Gendered speech, Yumiko Ohara

    Part IV: Language problems and language planning

    19. Language policy and planning, Ruriko Otomo

    20. Script and orthography problems, Hidenori Masiko 

    21. Literacy and illiteracy, Takeshi Nakashima

    22. Japanese language spread in the colonies and occupied territories, Toshiaki Yasuda

    23. Ainu language shift, Takayuki Okazaki

    24. Language shift in the Ryukyu Islands, Mark Anderson

    25. Language rights, Goro Christoph Kimura

    Part V: Research overviews

    26. Language life (gengo seikatsu), Patrick Heinrich

    27.The study of Japanese language speakers, Riikka Länsisalmi

    28. Studies of Ryukyu-substrate Japanese, Mark Anderson


    Patrick Heinrich is Professor at the Department of Asian and African Studies at Ca’ Foscari University in Venice, Italy, where he teaches Japanese and Ryukyuan sociolinguistics. His recent publications include Urban Sociolinguistics (Routledge, 2017) and The Making of Monolingual Japan (2012).

    Yumiko Ohara is Professor in the College of Hawaiian Language at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo, USA, where she teaches pragmatics and linguistics of endangered languages. Her publications include Various Approaches to Japanese Discourse (2007).

    In sum, this is an excellent collection that will be indispensable to scholars in Japanese sociolinguistics and beyond.

    - JANET S. SHIBAMOTO-SMITH, Anthropology, University of California