Description : This book surveys the two main indigenous languages of Japan, Japanese and Ainu. No genetic relationship has been established between them, and structurally they differ significantly. Shibatani has therefore divided his study into two independent parts. The first is the most comprehensive study of the polysynthetic Ainu language yet to appear in English. The second part deals extensively with Japanese. It discusses topics from the evolution of the writing system and the differences between men's and women's speech, to issues of greater theoretical complexity, such as phonology, the lexicon and word formation, and the syntax of agglutinative morphology. As an American trained scholar in Japan, the author is in a unique position that affords him a dual perspective on language deriving from Western linguistic scholarship and the Japanese grammatical tradition.
Description : The Languages of Japan and Korea provides detailed descriptions of the major varieties of languages in the region, both modern and pre-modern, within a common format, producing a long-needed introductory reference source. Korean, Japanese, Ainu, and representative members of the three main groupings of the Ryukyuan chain are discussed for the first time in a single work. The volume is divided into language sketches, the majority of which are broken down into sections on phonology, orthography, morphology, syntax and lexicon. Specific emphasis is placed on those aspects of syntactic interest, such as speech levels, honorifics and classifiers, which are commonly underplayed in other descriptions of Modern Japanese and Korean. Each language is represented in Roman-based transcription, although its own script (where there is such an orthography) and IPA transcriptions are used sparingly where appropriate. The dialects of both the modern and oldest forms of the languages are given extensive treatment, with a primary focus on the differences from the standard language. These synchronic snapshots are complemented by a discussion of both the genetic and areal relationships between languages in the region.
Description : This book describes the Koguryo language, which was once spoken in Manchuria and Korea, including Koguryo and Japanese ethnolinguistic history, Koguryo's genetic relationship to Japanese, Koguryo phonology, and the Koguryo lexicon. It also analyzes the phonology of archaic Northeastern Chinese.
Description : The Japanese are often characterized as exclusive and ethnocentric, yet a close examination of their linguistic and cultural history reveals a very different picture: although theirs is essentially a monolingual speech community they emerge as a people who have been significantly influenced by other languages and cultures for at least 2000 years. In this primarily sociolinguistic study Professor Loveday takes an eclectic approach, drawing on insights from other subfields of linguistics such as comparative and historical linguistics and stylistics, and from a number of other disciplines - cultural anthropology, social psychology and semiotics. Focusing in particular on the influence of Chinese and English on Japanese, and on how elements from these languages are modified when they are incorporated into Japanese, Professor Loveday offers a general model for understanding language contact behaviour across time and space. The study will be of value to those in search of cross-cultural universals in language contact behaviour, as well as to those with a particular interest in the Japanese case.
Description : Japan is widely regarded as a model case of successful language modernization, and it is often erroneously believed to be linguistically homogenous. There is a connection between these two views. As the first ever non-Western language to be modernized, Japanese language modernizers needed to convince the West that Japanese was just as good a language as the national languages of the West. The result was a fervent desire for linguistic uniformity. Today the legacy of modernist language ideology poses many problems to an internationalizing Japan. All indigenous minority languages are heading towards extinction, and this purposefully created homogeneity also affects the integration of immigrants and their languages. This book examines these issues from the perspective of language ideology, and in doing so the mechanisms by which language ideology undermines linguistic diversity are revealed.
Description : Studies in Japanese Bilingualism helps dissolve the myth of Japanese homogeneity by explaining the history of this construct and offering twelve empirical studies on different facets of language contact in Japan, including Ainu revitalisation, Korean language maintenance, creative use of Ryukyuan languages in Okinawa, English immersion, and language use by Nikkei immigrants, Chinese "War Orphans" and bicultural children, as well as codeswitching and language attrition in Japanese contexts.
Description : This is a book about the structure, history and evolution of the Japanese language. The Japanese Language is a classic study of one of the world's most widely used but least understood languages. Emphasizing the richness and complexity of Japanese as well as its limitations, this fine book provides a lively discussion about the uniqueness of the Japanese language. The relationship of Japanese to other languages is not well understood even by native speakers, and Professor Kindaichi sets out to define it. He concludes that Japanese is indeed only remotely related to other world languages although it shares many features in common with the languages of mainland Asia. Japanese shares with those languages a rich and detailed vocabulary for natural phenomena and an unusually complex and accurate way of expressing social relationships. Moreover, its capability to absorb innovations from abroad easily matches or exceeds that of English or German. The author, after briefly discussing the unique isolation of the Japanese language, moves on to consider the varieties of ordinary speech—dialects, jargon, sex—and role-based distinctions, and the difference between informal, formal, and literary language. He then examines the structure of Japanese pronunciations, its rhythm, and accent. The longest section of the book is devoted to the variety of the vocabulary, what can and cannot be said in Japanese. Readers who are just beginning their own study of Japanese will find this section especially fascinating, for each point is backed by examples from literature and everyday speech. Kindaichi also investigates the so-called vagueness of Japanese and traces it to its source–the unusual sentence order. This book includes: The highly debated origins of the Japanese language. Dialects, jargon, sex and role-based distinctions. Differences between informal, formal, and literary language. Structure, rhythm, and accent of pronunciation. What can and cannot be said in Japanese.
Description : Language and Society in Japan deals with issues important to an understanding of language in Japan today, among them multilingualism, language and nationalism, and literacy and reading habits. It is organised around the theme of language and identity, in particular how language is used to construct national, international and personal identities. Contrary to popular stereotypes, Japanese is far from the only language used in Japan, and does not function in a vacuum, but comes with its own particular cultural implications. Language has played an important role in Japan's cultural and foreign policies, and language issues are intimately connected both with technological advance and with minority group experiences. Nanette Gottlieb is a leading authority in this field. This 2005 book builds on and develops her previous work, and promises to be essential reading for students, scholars, and all those wishing to understand the role played by language in Japanese society.
Description : The core data is laid out, followed by critical discussion of the various approaches found in the literature. Each chapter ends with a section on how the study of the particular phenomenon in Japanese contributes to our knowledge of general linguistic theory.