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University of Hawaii President and UH Mānoa Interim Chancellor David Lassner and NINJAL Director-General Yukinori Takubo at the signing ceremony. Standing from left, Shin Fukuda and Robert Huey (EALL); Kamil Ud Deen (linguistics); Laura E. Lyons and Andy Sutton; and Nobuko Kibe, Masahiro Yamada and Yuto Niinaga (NINJAL). (Photo courtesy: UH Mānoa College of Languages, Linguistics & Literature)

The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa College of Languages, Linguistics & Literature and Japan’s National Institute for Japanese Language and Linguistics (NINJAL) have entered into a collaboration that expands endangered language research endeavors and joint resources.

“I’m delighted that successful and fruitful collaborations between faculty in the Departments of East Asian Languages and Literatures (EALL) and Linguistics and at NINJAL have resulted in such an important partnership,” said College of Languages, Linguistics & Literature Interim Dean Laura E. Lyons. “It’s an exciting time for both institutions, as we look forward to adding to our research endeavors and sharing resources.”

The Japanese section of the department is the largest in the nation, serving more than 1,000 students each semester, and specializes in language, linguistics and literature. The Department of Linguistics has world-renowned strengths in language documentation and conservation, as well as experimental linguistics. These strengths are particularly good matches for the priorities of NINJAL, making for an excellent partnership going forward.

NINJAL has documented various aspects of the Japanese language across regions and through the ages and today serves as an international locus of extensive studies on the languages of Japan.

NINJAL Director-General Yukinori Takubo and UH Mānoa Interim Chancellor David Lassner signed the memorandum of understanding with leadership from both institutions present, including Lyons and School of Pacific and Asian Studies Dean R. Anderson Sutton, who also serves as the assistant vice chancellor for international and exchange programs.

NINJAL hosts international symposium

In August 2018, NINJAL will host the international symposium “Approaches to Endangered Languages in Japan and Northeast Asia: Description, Documentation and Revitalization.” Linguistics Professor William O’Grady will serve as the keynote speaker and graduate students in the College of Languages, Linguistics & Literature are expected to be presenters, giving them valuable academic experience as well as unique learning opportunities.

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