The Roman Alphabet Within the Japanese Writing System: Patterns of Usages and Their Significance

Authors

  • Hironori NISHI University of Memphis

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.4312/ala.12.2.51-72

Keywords:

Japanese, loanwords, Roman Alphabet, katakana, writing system

Abstract

The present study explores the usages of the Roman alphabet within the writing system of Japanese. Japanese is typically said to have three types of characters in its writing system: hiragana, katakana, and kanji. However, the Roman alphabet is also commonly used in Japanese for various purposes along with other types of characters in Japanese. The present study argues that with the recent surge in electronic communication, the writing practice of Japanese is transitioning from vertical writing to horizontal writing, and this transition allows more foreign words and expressions written in the Roman alphabet to be used within Japanese without being converted into katakana loanwords. The present study also discusses the influence of the ever-increasing international interaction to the usages of the Roman alphabet within Japanese.

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Author Biography

Hironori NISHI , University of Memphis

Assistant Professor of Japanese
Department of World Languages and Literatures
University of Memphis

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Published

30.07.2022

How to Cite

Nishi, H. (2022). The Roman Alphabet Within the Japanese Writing System: Patterns of Usages and Their Significance. Acta Linguistica Asiatica, 12(2), 51–72. https://doi.org/10.4312/ala.12.2.51-72

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Section

Research articles