A study of Okinawan language shift and ideology

Abstract:
Ryukyuan, the Indigenous language of Okinawa, Japan, is in danger of being lost within a generation or two. There has been a rapid shift from Ryukyuan to Japanese and Uchina-Yamatoguchi , consisting of both Ryukyuan and Japanese. This linguistic situation has been brought on by many years of colonization by foreign nations and most recently by massive wave of globalization and modernization.

This research examines language loss and shift in one Okinawan village, Henna , through an examination of its history and by exploring the people's language attitudes and ideologies. This study seeks to understand the multidimensional factors that contribute to language choice of the Okinawan people. In the case of Okinawa, it may be said that one's perspective toward Okinawan culture is a key to the future of the Ryukyuan language. With this understanding, it is hoped that the Okinawans can then determine themselves what their futures may be and what language they embrace.

Author: 

Yuko Matsuno

Chair: 

Mary Romeo

Publication: 

thesis

Year: 

2004

Arizona State Museum: 

M9791 M393s

Proquest: 

ATT 1424604

UA Library: 

E9791 2004 378
College of Social and Behavioral Sciences