Professor Akifumi Yahanashi

Area and Subject Taught Chinese Linguistics
Research Theme(s) Historical Studies in Chinese Dialects and Culture
Academic Degrees Master of Literature, Osaka University of Foreign Studies
Keywords for Research Field History of Chinese Language, Study of Chinese Regional Dialects,
Cultural Linguistics
Office Phone Number 81-75-705-1828
e-mail E-mail

Research Overview

In the vast nation of China, with an area the size of the European continent and a population said to exceed 1.3 billion, a standard language, known as Putonghua, is gradually gaining ground. This should rightly be called one of the more miraculous successes in the long history of China. However, this language does not replace, but is used simultaneously alongside, the indigenous languages of various regions, and is creating a bilingual population in these regions. These bilingual conditions are giving rise to a complex linguistic culture in areas where Cantonese and the dialects of Shanghai,Fuzhou and Hakka are spoken; south of the Yangtze and east of the Jingguang railway line where "fossil languages" are still spoken; and among the ethnic minorities inhabiting Sichuan, Yunnan, Guangxi and other regions. Delving beneath the surface of Putonghua to its roots, we find that in all areas and throughout all historical periods of China, the linguistic groups represented among the nomadic peoples of the north and the agricultural peoples of the south have been undergoing complex and repeated migrations, exchanges and mixtures, dividing and reuniting repeatedly to give rise to the standard Putonghua language of today.
It is said that language plays a vital role in the formation of ethnic groups, uniting people to a greater extent than traditional values, aesthetic sense, religion and so forth. In this sense, the multifarious language of contemporary China is certainly one of the cultural aspects that reflect the multi-layered complexity of its society. In my work, while maintaining a view of the "big picture" (macroscopic aspects of the subject), I am exploring the specifics of regional cultures, particularly the dialects spoken in the south of China.

Notable Publications and Works

  1. 「粤語広幡小説の「甩」」『中國文化研究』第31号、天理大学中国文化研究会編、pp.1-16. 2015。
  2. 「福澤諭吉と『増訂華英通語』」『京都産業大学日本文化研究所紀要』第20号、京都産業大学日本文化研究所編、pp.231(64)-209(86). 2015。
  3. 「薩道旧蔵《聚分韻略》的“日訳唐音”」『中国音韻学研究会第十七届學術討論会曁漢語音韻学第十二届国際學術研討会論文選編』厦門大学中文系・中国音韻学会編、pp.411-417. 2014。
  4. 「英粤対音資料上的/r/音与鼻冠音」『第十五届國際粤方言研討會論文集』湯翠蘭主編、澳門粤方言學會。pp.96-105. 2012。
  5. 「英粤対音資料與鼻冠音」『清代民國漢語研究』遠藤光曉、朴在淵、竹越美奈子編、學古房。pp.395-410. 2011。
  6. 「教科書の体裁をとった文法書」(書評『身につく広東語講座』)『東方』(東方書店)。Vol.361, pp.33-38. 2011。