Japanese English

Language and Culture Contact


James Stanlaw

ISBN : 978-962-209-572-4

Language, Linguistics, Reference Asian Englishes Today

January 2004

388 pages, 6″ x 9″

  • HK$230.00
No longer available

Also available in Hardback HK$450.00

The volumes in this series set out to provide a contemporary record of the spread and development of the English language in South, Southeast, and East Asia from both a linguistic and literary perspective. Each volume will reflect themes that cut across national boundaries, including the study of language policies; globalization and linguistic imperialism; English in the media; English in law, government and education; ‘hybrid’ Englishes; and the bilingual creativity manifested by the vibrant creative writing found in a swathe of Asian societies.

This book gives an in-depth analysis of the use of the English language in modern Japan. It explores the many ramifications the Japanese-English language and culture contact situation has for not only Japanese themselves, but also others in the international community.

Data for this book has been gathered using anthropological ethnographic fieldwork, augmented by archival sources, written materials, and items from popular culture and the mass media. An interdisciplinary approach, including those of anthropological linguistics, sociolinguistics, cognitive science and symbolic anthropology, is taken in the exploration of the topics here. This book’s arguments focus on four major theoretical linguistic and social issues, namely the place of the Japanese-English case in the larger context of ‘World Englishes’; the place of the Japanese-English case in a general theory of language and culture contact; how Japanese English informs problems of categorization, meaning construction and cognition; and what it says about the social construction of identity and sense of self, nationalism and race.

This book will be of interest to linguists, anthropologists, sociologists, cognitive scientists, and all readers who are interested in language contact, sociolinguistics, English as an international language, and World Englishes. It will also appeal to those who are interested in Japan and popular culture.

James Stanlaw is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Illinois State University.

“As a linguist who worked recently on the matter of how spatial notions of uchi (inside) and soto (outside) relate to language and culture, I would like to recommend you very strongly to read Dr James Stanlaw’s book on loanwords as a fascinating case study of interiorization of exterior things and words from English language and culture.” —Seiichi Makino, Professor of Japanese and Linguistics, Department of East Asian Studies, Princeton University

“Although many scholars have written about Japan-made English, Stanlaw surpasses them all with an insightful, empathetic, and engaging analysis. Using a delightful selection of examples from popular culture, he convinces us that Japanese-English is innovative exploitation of a fully domesticated linguistic resource. This is a significant book not only for scholars of Japan, but for anyone interested in language and culture contact.” —Laura Miller, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Loyola University, Chicago