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Disarray in the language: A sociolinguistic study of kotoba no midare


  • Liv Danjoux

Summary, in English

The following thesis investigates Japanese native speakers’ attitudes towards linguistic changes and the degree to which they associate it with social aspects and changes on a wider- encompassing spectrum. More specifically, the study looks at the phenomenon commonly known as kotoba no midare (“disarray in the language”), a notion that has long been part of the Japanese public discourse surrounding language change. Over the years, various researchers have attributed the concerns regarding kotoba no midare to worries about social problems on a wider scale. The objective of this thesis is to examine to what extent the aforementioned assertions hold water. Furthermore, it also aims to provide a more general overview of how native speakers of Japanese consider linguistic change. The results of the study indicate that the respondents associate language change with social change to a high degree, and that they also view midare as being interlinked with social aspects to a lesser extent.


Publishing year




Document type

Student publication for Bachelor's degree


  • Languages and Literatures


  • Japanese
  • language change
  • linguistic change
  • social change
  • kotoba no midare
  • attitude
  • opinions


  • Mechtild Tronnier