Ryukyuan sociolinguistics

Authored by: Masahide Ishihara , Katsuyuki Miyahira , Gijs van der Lubbe , Patrick Heinrich

Routledge Handbook of Japanese Sociolinguistics

Print publication date:  June  2019
Online publication date:  June  2019

Print ISBN: 9780415790277
eBook ISBN: 9781315213378
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter zooms in on a range of sociolinguistic studies in Ryukyuan languages. It goes without saying that Ryukyuan sociolinguistics is much less developed as a field in comparison with Japanese sociolinguistics. In the past, attention has almost exclusively been placed on discussions of language policy and language shift. We chose to ignore these fields, as there also exist a number of publications on this in English. Instead we provide for summaries of recent research conducted on the changing language attitudes towards Ryukyuan languages, studies of linguistic landscapes in the Ryukyus, social and regional language variation, and finally language revitalization and Ryukyuan second language learning. The chapter also incorporates a list of Ryukyuan language learning materials. It concludes by identifying existing research gaps and by calling for more attention to be placed on Ryukyuan sociolinguistics henceforth.

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