Japanese Dialects and Language Diversity

Research resources related to Japanese dialects and language diversity in Japan

  • Linguistic Atlas of Japan (PDF)

    The ‘Linguistic Atlas of Japan’ (dialect atlas) is one of the basic research materials of dialectology, which shows geographical distributions of words and pronunciations of Japanese dialects. Digital images of maps contained in the ‘Linguistic Atlas of Japan’ (a total of 300 images) are available in PDF format.

  • Grammar Atlas of Japanese Dialects (PDF)

    The ‘Grammar Atlas of Japanese Dialects’ is a linguistic map (dialect map) which shows an overview of geographical distribution of grammatical phenomena across Japan. Images of maps contained in the ‘Grammar Atlas of Japanese Dialects’ (a total of 350) are available.

  • Data and Program Release

    Complete data from the Grammar Atlas of Japanese Dialects (GAJ), PDF files of GAJ, tools and contents for mapping linguistic (dialectal) maps, results of preliminary study for GAJ, and database of linguistic (dialectal) atlases of Japanese dialects are published.

  • Topical Dictionary of Conversational Ainu

    This online dictionary is based on the original Ainugo Kaiwa Jiten. It contains 3467 headwords which can be searched for by ‘Topic’ or ‘Full-text’ methods. In addition to the original notations, various information, including the colloquial translations, audio (3467 items), videos (131 iems), and photos (86 items) are provided.

  • A Glossed Audio Corpus of Ainu Folklore

    This is the first fully glossed and annotated digital collection of Ainu folktales with translations into Japanese and English. It contains 10 stories (8 uepeker ‘prosaic folktales’ and 2 kamuy yukar ‘divine epics’) narrated by Mrs. Kimi Kimura (1900-1988, born in Penakori Village, upper district of the Saru River) with a total recording time of about 3 hours.

  • The World Atlas of Transitivity Pairs (WATP)

    This web application provides typological information on the formal relationship between lexical pairs of transitive and intransitive verbs in selected world languages including Japanese in the form of a map and charts.

  • The Databese of the Okazaki Survey of Honorifics

    This database is the result of the honorifics survey in Okazaki City of Aichi Prefecture which was headed by the National Institute for Japanese Language and Linguistics. The OSH (Okazaki Survey of Honorifics) was conducted in the years 1953, 1972, and 2008, and shows real-time changes over a span of 55 years following the war.

  • Okinawa-go (Ryukyu dialect) dictionary database

    Electric data of Okinawago Jiten (Okinawa Language Dictionary), published 1963 and revised 2001.

  • Database of endangered languages/dialects in Japan

    This database releases recorded voices of endangered languages/dialects in Japan. It consists of word pronunciations and natural conversations of the endangered languages/dialects, such as Amami, Okinawa, and Hachijo. It also includes transcribed texts and their translation into Standard Japanese.

  • Accent Database of Koshikijima Japanese

    This is an accent database of Koshikijima Japanese, a dialect spoken on the Koshikijima Islands in Kagoshima Prefecture. It is an endangered dialect with about 3,000 native speakers.

  • Longitudinal Database of Dialect Standardization in Tsuruoka City

    This is a database of the standardization of Tsuruoka Dialect based on longitudinal surveys conducted in 1950, 1971, 1991, 2011.

  • Datasets of “Texts of Tape-Recorded Conversations in Japanese Dialects”

    Machine readable text files and audio files of “Texts of Tape-Recorded Conversations in Japanese Dialects” published in 1978-1987.

  • Datasets of “Dialect Recordings Series”

    Machine readable text files and audio files of “Dialect Recordings Series” published in 1978-1987.

  • Database of Linguistic Atlases and Maps of Japan

    A database of linguistic and dialectological atlases for Japanese published in Japan. It includes a bibliography of atlases (for each map, entries for author, title, year of publication, period and area of survey), the contents of maps included in the atlases (including titles and keywords for searching) and image files of maps (geotagged to the extent possible).

  • Field Research Project to Analyze the Formation Process of Japanese Dialects (FPJD) and New Linguistic Atlas of Japan (NLJ)

    This database release the dialectological distribution data of 554 places researched by Field Research Project to Analyze the Formation Process of Japanese Dialects between 2010 and 2015.

  • Digital Museum for the Endangered Languages and Cultures: Nishihara, Miyako Islands, Ryukyu Archipelago

    The Digital Museum introduces through video and sound the language and culture of Miyakojima City, Okinawa Prefecture, and in particular that of the Nishihara district. It has been constructed so that the residents of Nishihara, those who are originally from the area but presently living elsewhere, and those who are interested in or studying Ryukyuan language and culture may learn about the language, life, and traditions of Nishihara.

  • Japanese Word History and Frequency

    This tool allows users to search for statistical information from the corpus, old dictionaries, language maps, language articles, and other materials related to the history of the Japanese language at one time.

  • Language Museum

    This website introduces a variety of languages spoken in Japan so that you can see, listen, and learn them. Some languages might sound totally different from Tokyo Japanese, others might be familiar to you. Click a tag that interests you and read the articles. You might want to visit the place or speak the language spoken there.