The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

Linguists in Japan

In the aftermath of this week’s terrible earthquake and tsunami we have some news to share about former students, colleagues and friends who are linguists in Japan – all of it reassuring, we are relieved to say. Nobuko Hasegawa, a friend to many of us, and a recent visitor to our department, is fine, and writes that Shoichi Takahashi and his wife Yoko are fine. According to Nobuko, Shoichi says “that the inside of the apartment is a mess and the water line stopped but they are physically ok. He is in Fukushima prefecture, which is between Tokyo and Sendai. His place is far from the nuclear plant and I don’t think it affects him.” Masatoshi Koizumi, who works in the seriously affected Sendai area, is in Guatemala doing fieldwork at the moment, and therefore far from the quake. He writes that his family is ok, as is he. Among other linguists working in the most affected area of Japan, our colleague Shigeru Miyagawa reports that Jun Abe, Akira Kikuchi, Hirohisa Kiguchi and Ken Takita have all been confirmed to be ok – and that the various linguists he has heard from in the Tokyo area are all right too. Shigeru’s own family and friends are fine as well, as are the families and friends of our current students from Japan.

As Yusuke Imanishi has informed us, information about the response to the earthquake organized by MIT students is available here.