Associate Professor NAITO Maho

Affiliations :

  • Graduate School Faculty of Arts and Letters
  • Division of Department of Integrated Human Sciences
  • Psychology and Linguistics Course
  • Department of Linguistics

The Purpose of
Descriptive Linguistics

I aim to describe and analyze a vernacular language that is in danger of becoming extinct. Our world contains over 7,000 languages, but recent years have seen many of them disappear at an alarming rate. Vernacular languages are irreplaceable intellectual property shared by humankind; they are a product of wisdom. In an attempt to preserve these vernacular languages and provide a written record of them, I have been pursuing my research in this field since my fourth year in the undergraduate program. I am conducting this research project in the Republic of Vanuatu, an archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean comprising 83 islands large and small. This country is home to a variety of linguistic phenomena and mysteries that are outside what we would normally imagine. These lie hidden in vernacular languages that have no written form and are spoken in remote areas.
I live with the local people under the same roof to conduct my research, attempting to understand not only their language but also the culture, customs, and unique perspectives of the world that are reflected in the language. Having been deeply immersed in the material culture, I learn much through living on an isolated island without electricity, water, or gas, and am striving daily to apply these experiences to my research and education.

  • Research, History
  • Books, papers, etc.
  • Courses
    Phonetics, Modern Linguistics, Interlinguistics (Seminar), Linguistics (Advanced Seminar)
    Personal History
    Graduated from the Department of Languages, College of Culture and Communication, Tokyo Woman’s Christian University
    Completed the Master’s program in Human and Environmental Studies, Graduate School of Human and Environmental Studies, Kyoto University
    Completed the Doctoral program in Human and Environmental Studies, Graduate School of Human and Environmental Studies, Kyoto University

    Previous positions:
    Lecturer, Ehime Prefectural University of Health Sciences
    Contracted Teacher, Tokyo Woman’s Christian University
    Research Fellow under the Research Fellowship for Young Scientists scheme (PD, Kyoto University), Japan Society for the Promotion of Science

    Descriptive Linguistics
    Field Linguistics
    Research Subject
    Research on endangered, unanalyzed, and unwritten languages
    endangered languages, unanalyzed and unwritten languages, pidgin and creole languages, Vanuatu, Melanesia
    The Linguistic Society of Japan, Phonetic Society of Japan
  • Books
    『ツツバ語 記述言語学的研究』、京都大学学術出版会、526頁、2011年
    Academic Papers
    内藤真帆、ビスラマ語とツツバ語における意味の場と語彙借用―時に関する体系の比較と考察―、『東京女子大学紀要論集』、第66巻 第1号、pp.157-176、2015年
    Maho Naito, Tutuba Apicolabials: Factors Influencing the Phonetic Transition from Apicolabials to Labials, Oceanic Linguistics, Vol.45 No.1, pp. 217-228, 2006年
    2012年11月 新村出記念財団 第三十回 研究奨励賞(著書名『ツツバ語 記述言語学的研究』)
    2011年11月 日本言語学会 論文賞 (論文名「ツツバ語の移動動詞と空間分割」)