ABSTRACT

The study of language in the city has never been a prominent subject in Japanese sociolinguistics. The negligence of city sociolinguistics in Japan notwithstanding, there is a wide range of issues to be found in Tokyo, which reveal the intricate ways in which language and society relate to one another. 1 In this chapter, we discuss two interrelated issues. Firstly, we outline the case of language standardization, which subsequently led to various destandardization phenomena and ludic language use. Secondly, we discuss how language diversity in Tokyo has grown in recent years and how it is no longer swept under the carpet and hidden. Tokyoites, too, are diversifying as an effect. We shall start, though, with a brief sociolinguistic history of Tokyo.