Graduate Student Forum

Apologies for My Ese-Kansai Dialect: Language Ideologies and Language Ownership of the Kansai Dialect

Tuesday, 13 December 2022 | 9:00 - 9:45 (JST)
Zoom Meeting
  • Yao Sun University of Oxford
  • Sawako Shirahase TCJS Director

With its national popularity, the Kansai Dialect is now the most present dialect on screens. Results of the Kansai Dialect’s linguistic influence could be found throughout Japan including the spread of Kansai expressions and lexica such as めっちゃ. Meanwhile, the notion of エセ関西弁(Ese-Kansai Dialect) is increasingly discussed in media and online in the recent decade. In previous studies, Ese-Kansai Dialect is said to “denote and criticise the Kansai Dialect used by non-natives with unnatural pronunciation” and is regarded as a sociolinguistic variation of the Kansai Dialect. However, other than “being incorrect”, no shared commonality has been acknowledged. In this talk, through analysis of discourse on social media, I will discuss how Ese-Kansai Dialect is not simply a variation with certain linguistic features but is an ideological notion formed as native speakers reclaim language ownership.


Yao Sun is a DPhil Candidate at the University of Oxford researching the Language Ideology of the Kansai Dialect. My research stands at the intersection of Perceptual Dialectology and Language Commodification. I focus on the Ideology of Japanese Kansai Dialect learners who attempt to learn the dialect in classroom settings for various purposes. For the past year, I have been conducting fieldwork in Osaka and was affiliated with the University of Osaka. I studied for an MSc at Nissan Institute of Japanese Studies, the University of Oxford in 2019. Before that, I studied Japanese and English at Beijing Language and Culture University.