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The Future of Tōhokuben: A sociolinguistic attitude study


  • Carl Leismark

Summary, in English

This essay investigates the attitudes and thoughts amongst Japanese people regarding the dialects in the Tōhoku region of Japan. It aims to discover if Japanese people do think the dialect is going extinct, something which research seems to suggest. It presents a background section explaining the history of language standardization in Japan, the history of the Tōhoku region in regard to this standardization, features of the dialects in Tōhoku, as well as the disaster in 2011 which greatly affected parts of the region, something which could be a contributing factor to the way Japanese people think in regards to the extinction of the dialect.

A survey was conducted asking 111 Japanese people about this, which yielded answers correlating with the research conducted regarding the extinction of the dialects in Tōhoku. The essay reached the conclusion that Japanese people do hold the kind of attitudes towards the dialects in Tōhoku that its stereotypes and stigma contain, and also that Japanese people do believe that the dialects are going extinct. Thoughts about the extinction of the dialects in Tōhoku differed depending on age spans and geographical location, but not much depending on gender.


Publishing year




Document type

Student publication for Bachelor's degree


  • Languages and Literatures


  • Japanese
  • Tōhoku
  • Tōhokuben
  • dialect
  • attitude
  • standardization
  • disaster
  • tsunami
  • 2011
  • extinction
  • opinions
  • future


  • Axel Svahn (Doctoral Student)