Christina Higgins, Maiko Ikeda
October 12, 2019
This article traces how new linguistic practices emerge alongside the development of tourism in Hawai‘i and Japan. We trace and describe two networks of tourism to illustrate how signs, speech, and embodied communication materialize in actor networks. We frame these new spatial repertoires as examples of language learning and language change that occurs as an effect of human mobility intersecting with material affordances in new environments. We compare the relatively new emergence of such spatial repertoires in Izumisano, a residential neighborhood in Oʻsaka, to the more established repertoires that have formed in Kailua, a residential beach town on O‘ahu in Hawai‘i. In Izumisano, we focus on the emergence of Chinese alongside English, and in Kailua, we examine the recent emergence of the Japanese language. In both contexts, we identify how language first emerges in written form on signs in relation to other actants such as pancakes, airports, and train stations. This signage later becomes part of the embodied actions by service providers who acquire multimodal verbal repertoires through their interactions with tourists.