Hachijōjima: The Language Isle

A view of the coastline between Nakanogō and Kashitate villages

On July 30, 2020, the Japan-America Society of Hawaii (JASH) hosted another installment in our Summer 2020 Talk-Story Series entitled, “Hachijōjima: The Language Isle.” We were very fortunate to collaborate with linguist Dr. David Iannucci, who introduced attendees to the small island of Hachijōjima and the severely endangered Hachijō language that is spoken there.

Dr. David Iannucci with language consultants Mrs. Eiko Fukuda and Mr. Tōichi Okiyama

Dr. Iannucci received his PhD in Linguistics from the University of Hawai`i at Mānoa in 2019. He briefly visited Hachijōjima twice for linguistic fieldwork, consulting community members and collecting information for his dissertation, “The Hachijō Language of Japan: Phonology and Historical Development.” Drawing from his own experiences and research, Dr. Iannucci gave attendees a virtual tour of Hachijōjima by using Google Maps and sharing photos from his fieldwork trips.