A study of Japanese native and non-native language speakers' perception of gairaigo and the future of gairaigo in the Japanese language : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Japanese at Massey University
This thesis deals with language change in Japanese in relation to loanwords. Japan has a tradition of borrowing from other languages, in particular, from the Chinese language. This tradition continues to the present day with borrowing from Western languages. This thesis first looks at the historical background of loanwords in Japanese. It then sets out to ascertain what the current perceptions are of both native speakers of Japanese and non-native speakers of Japanese in regard to gairaigo from the English language, and what they predict the future holds for gairaigo from the English language in Japanese. The Japanese will use English more as they become increasingly reliant on international trade due to the downturn in the Japanese economy. This thesis will investigate any effect that gairaigo from English might have on Japanese language acquisition by non-native speakers, and determine what effect gairaigo have on native Japanese speakers and their acquisition of English as a second language. It is suggested in this thesis that gairaigo in Japanese that have come from English will in future be used as English by the Japanese. In other words, this thesis suggests that one main purpose of gairaigo may be to facilitate the acquisition of English as a second language by native Japanese speakers.