A Study of Ongoing Changes in Modern Japanese

Project leader:NIINO Naoya
Associate Professor, Department of Language Change and Variation, NINJAL


While existing words and phrases undergo change in meaning and usage, new words are born one after another. Some of them are in vogue for some time and fall out of use, while others are established and listed in dictionaries. This project investigates the time and process of the birth of new words and new grammatical expressions in modern Japanese by paying special attention to social factors that motivate them as well as to speakers’ subjective attitudes and judgments regarding their 'correctness'. By clarifying the actual conditions of ongoing language change, the present study is expected to bring forth material that will be useful for Japanese language education at school and for furthering a better understanding of Japanese by its native speakers.