Language Variation Division


Hundreds of years ago, the Japanese archipelago boasted an abundant diversity of languages and dialects. Rapid change in Japanese society, however, has precipitated a crisis for Ainu, the Ryukyuan languages, and a great number of Japanese dialects. Outside of Japan also, the language that was used by Japanese emigrants decades ago is now fading away due to the loss of its speakers. The Language Variation Division is engaged in surveying these endangered languages and dialects and documenting their grammar, texts, and vocabulary items for their future preservation.

Research Topics

Regional and social variation of Japanese

Collaborative Research Projects

Title Type Leader Period
Endangered Languages and Dialects in Japan Institute-based Projects KIBE Nobuko April 2016 -
Reformation of local community through recordings and researches of dialects Multidisciplinary Collaborative Projects [NIHU] KIBE Nobuko April 2016 -
A survey, study, and use of the Japan-related documents and artifacts in North America: Socio-historical approach to ‘modern oversea material informatics’ Network-based Projects [NIHU] ASAHI Yoshiyuki April 2016 -

Researchers List

Alphabetical Order, : Additional Post

Research and Education Staff