Yao Sun


Hertford College

Course & Supervisor:

Dphil in Oriental Studies (supervised by Professor Bjarke Frellesvig)



Educational Background:

I hold an MSc in Japanese Studies from the University of Oxford (2018-2019). My master thesis is on the semantic change of Buddhist Lexicon in Contemporary Japanese from the Lotus Sutra. Before that, I graduated from Beijing Language and Culture University with a BA in Japanese and English. I am a certified Japanese-Chinese interpreter (CATTI 2). Apart from my DPhil research, I am also interested in various Sociolinguistic phenomenon in East Asia, with a focus on language ideology and language policy. The Oriental Institute allows me good width and depth for my academic exploration.

Research Interests:

When we think of Osaka nowadays, we think of the food, Manzai, and the characteristic dialect. Popular and welcomed throughout Japan as it is nowadays, the Osaka dialect was once a largely stigmatised language attached with negative labels such as “vulgar”, “stubborn” or “garish”. My project investigates the ideological change that took place in post-war Japan as well as the ideology of the Osaka dialect in contemporary Japan. I argue in my study that the commodification of the dialect played a preeminent role in the destigmatisation of the dialect and is still posing influence in contemporary Japan.


Yao Sun