Technology and the writing system in Japan

Gottlieb, Nanette (2011). Technology and the writing system in Japan. In Patrick Heinrich and Christian Galan (Ed.), Language Life in Japan: Transformations and Prospects (pp. 140-153) Abingdon, Oxon, U.K.: Routledge. doi:10.4324/9780203846674

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Author Gottlieb, Nanette
Title of chapter Technology and the writing system in Japan
Title of book Language Life in Japan: Transformations and Prospects
Place of Publication Abingdon, Oxon, U.K.
Publisher Routledge
Publication Year 2011
Sub-type Research book chapter (original research)
DOI 10.4324/9780203846674
Year available 2010
Series Routledge Contemporary Japan Series
ISBN 9780415587228
0415587220
9780203846674
0203846672
Editor Patrick Heinrich
Christian Galan
Chapter number 9
Start page 140
End page 153
Total pages 14
Total chapters 13
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Formatted Abstract/Summary
The modernist ideology of Japan as a monoethnic, monolingual nation was pressed into service for purposes of nation building in the early part of the modern period. It has proven remarkably durable, but it has never been based on reality; rather, it has deliberately overlooked the existence of the languages of indigenous and ethnic communities within the borders of the state. Now, in late modernity, it is no longer possible to ignore the on-the-ground reality of multilingualism deriving both from long established oldcomer ethnic communities and from newcomer communities of migrants which have been steadily growing since the 1980s as a result of globalization. In addition, the government's increased emphasis on English-language learning over the last two decades has promoted awareness that the old discursive order of monolingualism is no longer sustainable. Ideas and practices that once formed part of a bedrock of national emotional security, "the way things are (and should be) done," are therefore now being re-examined in the light of actual practice.

This chapter will discuss technology-mediated change and diversity in one such cherished area, the Japanese writing system, in particular those changes which represent a departure from writing's standards of modernity as embodied in the set of conventions specified in current script policies. The last 30 years in Japan have seen a quiet revolution in writing practices which could not have been foreseen by those who formulated those policies, which were predicated upon a culture of handwriting. Since the early 1980s, the invention and rapid uptake of word processing has resulted in a sustained engagement with technology which has led to increased use of non-standard orthography in personal communications online.
© 2011 Selection and editorial matter, Patrick Heinrich and Christian Galan. Individual chapters the contributors.
Q-Index Code B1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes "Published 29th July 2010 by Routledge".

 
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Created: Mon, 07 Mar 2011, 16:18:32 EST by Meredith Downes on behalf of School of Languages and Cultures