This website is a straightforward Bibliography of Japanese Sociolinguistics in English, listing over 1000 books, journal papers, and dissertations. Although the site title specifies sociolinguistics, items relating to other branches of linguistics are listed too. Research published in other western languages is also included, but the great majority is in English. The categories are: dialectology; gender; discourse; communication; politeness; general sociolinguistics; general Japanese linguistics; historical linguistics; contrastive linguistics; second language acquisition; Japanese language textbooks; and Japanese as a foreign language (JFL). The disadvantage of the site is that it has not been updated since 1997, but the number of items listed still make it a useful starting point for researchers and students looking for non-Japanese-language research publications on Japanese linguistics.
The Corpus of Spontaneous Japanese website presents the data and preliminary results from a large-scale national research project on spontaneous spoken Japanese. The whole corpus contains approximately 650 hours of spontaneous speech of various kinds, recorded between 1999 and 2003; this provides up-to-date data on current spoken language in Japan. Parallel English and Japanese versions of the website provide: an introduction to the study; information on the sources, accompanied by soundfiles of samples of speech; details of the transcription and annotation used; preliminary analyses; and references. Two kinds of speech, academic presentation speeches (APS) and simulated public speaking (SPS), were the main sources, but some material was also taken from interviews with the subjects about their APS or SPS, and from recordings of the subjects reading short passages aloud. This is a detailed and valuable source of data for researchers in Japanese linguistics. The project is a collaboration between the National Institute for Japanese Language, the Communications Research Laboratory, and the Tokyo Institute of Technology.
The Hypermedia Corpus of Spoken Japanese is a joint research project involving universities in Japan and the USA. It has been running since the mid-1990s and is supported by the Japanese Ministry of Education. The samples from the corpus presented on this website consist of free speech, role plays and conversations involving native speakers and foreign learners of Japanese. The corpus is unusual in making the data available in digital video and audio form (movies) as well as in full transcripts (in Japanese script), thus allowing users to study intonation, facial expressions, gestures and other features of non-verbal communication without recourse to complex linguistic notation systems. Teachers of Japanese as a foreign language as well as researchers in linguistics will therefore find this corpus of value. The information pages are in both English and Japanese, but the transcriptions of the spoken extracts are in Japanese only.
This is the website of the JALT (Japan Association for Language Teaching) Bilingualism SIG (Special Interest Group). The group encourages research and disseminates information on bilingualism in Japan and is particularly focused on bilingual parenting and education. It publishes a newsletter, 'Bilingual Japan', and a journal, 'The Japan Journal of Multilingualism and Multiculturalism', as well as monographs. Subscription details are provided on the site. There is a section devoted to the journal, where the tables of contents and abstracts (the latter in both English and Japanese) can be accessed. Also available are abstracts of the monographs. A couple of complete monographs and an issue of the journal are also available online. An annotated bibliography of recommended reading for parents bringing up children bilingually will be useful for non-specialists as well as researchers in this area; moreover, the site hosts an email discussion group. Links to other websites concerned with relevant topics (bilingualism; bilingual education; multiculturalism; and linguistics) are given in a separate section, and the home page also has links to the websites of relevant upcoming conferences. The site is mainly in English, but some parts have Japanese versions as well.
This website provides basic information on the JSLAR (Japanese Second Language Acquisition Research) mailing list. This is a valuable international discussion forum that makes available up-to-date research in the area of Japanese as a foreign language (JFL) and encourages the exchange of practical ideas to be applied in learning and teaching. The list began in the early 1990s and is open to researchers, lecturers, language teachers, graduate students and others interested in the acquisition/learning of Japanese. Details of how to subscribe to the list appear here. The JSLAR Archives of earlier postings are only accessible to list members.
The official and very comprehensive website of the National Institute for National Institute for Japanese Language and Linguistics (formerly the National Language Research Institute), offers substantial information about the research carried out by the Institute on Japanese as a national language (kokugo) and as a foreign language (nihongo). The site hosts both English and Japanese versions, and it is easy to switch between the two. The English version is more limited than the Japanese one, but still provides a great deal of relevant information. For example, the Institute's history, research projects and publications are outlined, and there is access to a database of international publications on the Japanese language, as well as a link to the website of the print journal 'Japanese Linguistics'. The Japanese version gives more detailed information on the Institute's research findings and publications, its library, and the international symposiums and public debates on language that it organises, as well as many links to relevant libraries, institutes, and associations. The link to the corpus of spontaneous Japanese is particularly valuable.